Women's Basketball Tops UMSL in Exhibition Game
COLUMBIA - The Missouri Tigers defeated the Missouri-St. Louis Tritons 62-48 in an exhibition game Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers got a boost from leading scorer BreAnna Brock, who registered 29 points to to top her previous, single game career high of 14 points. She surpassed that total in the first half with 17 points. Brock also hit new career marks for blocks, rebounds, and assists. Mizzou won the key rebound battle for the game, out-rebounding the Tritons 41-36. The win puts the Tigers at 2-0 in exhibition play as they prepare to travel to San Antonio for their next game.
The Tigers started the game quickly, as Brock blocked a shot on the first defensive possession for Mizzou. On the following offensive possession, Brock was fouled and made a free throw that gave Missouri an early 1-0 lead. Mizzou made their first substitution at the 17-minute mark, putting Freshman Morgan Eye into the game. Eye contributed instantly, registering an assist on Kyley Simmons's three-pointer that resulted from the ensuing in-bound play, which gave Mizzou a quick 4-0 lead.
The Tritons followed that three-pointer by scoring 12 unanswered points, a streak that was ended by Brock. Her shot ended a scoring drought that lasted over four minutes for the Tigers. The teams traded baskets over their next several possessions, but a three-pointer by Tori Niemann swung momentum toward Mizzou, who trailed 16-11.
Brock continued to be a force in the low post, grabbing a rebound and finishing the put-back lay-up to cut the deficit to three points. Again, the Tritons responded with five consecutive points. And again, Brock ended the streak with a lay-up of her own, reducing the deficit to six points. On the Tigers' next possession, Brock scored another two points to put Mizzou within four. Bree Fowler scored on Missouri's next possession, yet again cutting into the deficit. Two Brock lay-ups then had Mizzou leading by three points with just more than four minutes remaining in the half.
Missouri's defense swarmed throughout the final seven and a half minutes in the first half, allowing just 27 points. The Tigers' offense surged at the same time, allowing Mizzou to close the first half on a 19-6 run. Senior Bailey Gee led the way at the end of the first half, hitting two free throws and then recording a takeaway on the defensive possession. She also drew a charge with 6.7 seconds remaining in the half, and the Tigers capitalized as Niemann hit a shot right as time expired, allowing Mizzou to hit the locker room with a 32-27 lead.
After the break, Brock hit her first shot attempt at the 18:56 mark, lifting Missouri to a seven-point advantage. After Fowler's three-pointer gave Mizzou a double-digit lead, the resilient Tritons answered with five consecutive points of their own, pulling back to within five.
Missouri's defense early in the second half enabled them to sustain a lead despite a slow start shooting, as the Tigers forced 10 turnovers in the first seven minutes of the second half. But UMSL refused to lie down and cut the deficit to just four points with 11:22 remaining. Two Liz Smith free throws after a timeout quickly pushed Missouri's lead back to six, but that was answered by a three-pointer by the Tritons. Brock did not take long to announce her return to game play, scoring two points and grabbing a rebound on consecutive shots within a minute of her re-entrance.
With the Tigers' lead cut down to three points and less than eight minutes left, Brock responded with a free throw and a lay-up on consecutive possessions, boosting Mizzou to another six point advantage. After a Tritons free throw, Niemann hit consecutive three-pointers, giving the Tigers a 53-44 advantage with more than four minutes left. A Brock three-point play sealed the game for Missouri, going up by 12 points with just 4:20 remaining in the contest. Niemann hit another three-pointer with one minute remaining in the game, sealing a perfect 4/4 performance for her, a career high for three-pointers and points in a single game.
Missouri's next home game is November 20 against the North Florida Ospreys. The game will be the Tigers' regular season home opener.