Mizzou Women Fall to Green Bay in Cancun Challenge
CANCUN, MEXICO -- Mizzou Women's Basketball dropped its first game of the season Friday night against the Green Bay Phoenix. Mizzou, now 4-1 on the season, stuck with the Phoenix in a hard-fought, physical battle, but it was not enough to come out on top. The Tigers fell 55-33 in their second game of the Cancun Challenge. Morgan Eye put up nine points in the contest, making 3-of-10 field goal attempts. Sydney Crafton played a large part for the Tigers in the game as well, grabbing nine rebounds to lead the team.
Coming off of an overtime loss to James Madison in their first game of the Challenge, Green Bay came out strong against the Tigers. After some back-and-forth action right off the bat, Lianna Doty hit a three for the Tigers to give them an early lead. It was short-lived, however, as the Phoenix quickly responded with a trey of their own. Green Bay held the Tigers scoreless for another nine minutes of the half, running the score up making it 15-3 in Green Bay's favor.
A Kyley Simmons three-pointer with 9:03 left in the half ended Green Bay's scoring streak and gave Mizzou some momentum. Sydney Crafton recorded a layup adding two to Mizzou's score, and Morgan Eye made her first trey of the game with 5:26 left to play in the half. With just over two minutes left, back-to-back fouls on the Phoenix gave Missouri a few points from the charity stripe, Doty made one free throw followed by one from Michelle Hudyn making the score 20-13.
The Tigers narrowed the gap even more in the last minute of play thanks to a three from Eye and a last minute foul on Green Bay. Crafton made a free throw with 0.4 seconds on the clock, and the Tigers headed in at halftime trailing the Phoenix 21-17.
The second half picked up quickly as Bri Kulas hit a jumper early on to negate two Green Bay free throws. Liz Smith added another two for the Tigers with 17:41 on the clock to bring Missouri within two, but Green Bay's Sension made two free throws to make it 25-21 in the Phoenix' favor. Kulas hit a bucket with just under 16 minutes left in the game making it 29-23 at the first media timeout of the half.
A layup from Doty put two more on the board for Mizzou, after a three from Green Bay's Gilbertson upped the score to 32-23. Hudyn again reduced Green Bay's lead, making it 32-38 after an and-one with 14:04 left in the game. With just under 13 minutes in the game, Hudyn made another shot bringing the Tigers within five. A huge three-pointer from Morgan Eye brought the Tigers within reach, at the under-12 media timeout Missouri trailed by just two points, 35-33. Unfortunately, the Tigers could not stop the Phoenix, who went on a 20-0 run to finish the game.
The Tigers will play their final game of the Challenge against Minnesota Saturday at 5 p.m.