After an 10-day layoff, Mizzou Women’s Basketball (5-3, 1-2 SEC) returned to action in impressive fashion, picking up its first Southeastern Conference and first road win Thursday, 85-77, over Ole Miss (7-3, 1-3 SEC). The Tigers were led by a furious second-half performance from sophomore forward Hayley Frank (Strafford, Mo.), who scored 21 of her team-high 23 points in the game’s final 20 minutes.
Frank led a host of Tigers to score in double figures, as five scored in double figures for the second consecutive game and third time this season. Sophomore guard Aijha Blackwell (Berkeley, Mo.) led the charge early, scoring 15 points while dishing out a team-high five assists. Joining the sophomore duo in double figures was redshirt junior forward LaDazhia Williams (Bradenton, Fla.) with 13 points, redshirt senior guard Shug Dickson (St. Louis, Mo.) with 11 and redshirt senior forward Shannon Dufficy (Melbourne, Australia) with a season-high 10 points.
Mizzou led for all but 40 seconds in the game but had to hold off a second and third quarter charge from the Rebels. The Tigers saw their 12-point second quarter lead evaporate to two behind halftime, 41-39 at the break. In the third quarter, Mizzou was able to regain an eight-point advantage, but Ole Miss responded with a 10-2 run to tie the score at 53 with 1:47 remaining. From there, it was Mizzou’s turn to respond as the Tigers scored nine straight points in the period’s final 95 seconds to take a nine-point lead into the fourth quarter. Frank provided the momentum heading into the game’s final frame, as her three-pointer beat the buzzer to end the period and give Mizzou a 62-53 lead.