Smith's career highs drive Missouri women's hoops to SEC/Big 12 challenge victory

6 months 2 weeks 1 day ago Sunday, December 02 2018 Dec 2, 2018 Sunday, December 02, 2018 8:03:00 PM CST December 02, 2018 in Sports
By: Mark Powers KOMU 8 Sports Digital Producer
Missouri's triumph put the SEC ahead of the Big 12 5-4 with one game left in the challenge.

Morgantown, WV - The Missouri women’s basketball team entered Sunday’s SEC/Big 12 challenge road matchup with West Virginia knowing it had an opportunity to get a victory over a quality opponent.

Junior guard Amber Smith seized the chance for the Tigers, as her 28 points and 13 rebounds set career highs and led Missouri to a 68-51 victory over the 21st ranked Mountaineers.

While Smith provided the scoring clout, it was the Tiger team defense that salted away the win. The Mountaineers entered the contest averaging 85.8 points per game, but were held to just 51 points on their home floor by Missouri’s stifling defense. West Virginia shot just 28% from the field for the game and 28% from three point range.

Smith was dynamic on defense as well, recording a game high three blocks to go with her 28 points. Missouri’s defense has been the strength that has led the Tigers to victories this season. The Tigers are limiting opponents to just 33% shooting from the field, while blocking nearly four shots per game.

Redshirt freshman guard Haley Troup set career highs with 14 points and six rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench. New starter Jordan Chavis had a big afternoon as well, contributing 11 points and five rebounds.

The win was Missouri’s second over a power five conference opponent this season as the team begins to build its resume for the NCAA tournament. The Tigers will continue the non-conference slate Thursday when in state rival UMKC comes to Columbia.

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