COLUMBIA, Mo. - Thanks to a strong 3-point shooting effort and lockdown defense, the University of Missouri women's basketball team picked up a 75-62 victory over Mississippi State on Thursday night at Mizzou Arena.
For a seventh consecutive game, senior forward Hayley Frank (Strafford, Mo.) led the Tigers (16-10, 5-8 SEC) in scoring with 22 points, splashing home six of her 11 attempts from the field. She also broke into the upper echelon of historic Mizzou scorers, passing Sandie Prophete (1985-89) for 10th on the program's all-time scoring list.
Senior guard Lauren Hansen (Long Island, N.Y.) pitched in a double-figure scoring effort with 20 points while breaking the 1,000-point threshold for her career with a third-quarter 3-pointer. In addition to the point total, Hansen tied Frank with a team-leading six rebounds.
The Tigers received a breakout performance from freshman guard Ashton Judd (West Plains, Mo.), scoring a career-high 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting.
After Mississippi State (18-8, 7-6) began the game with a 9-0 run and built its lead to double digits in the first quarter, Mizzou narrowed the margin to six by the end of the frame. The Tiger defense forced six steals through the first 10 minutes, as Frank earned three takeaways.
Once the second quarter started, Mizzou's offense hit its stride to outscore the Bulldogs 22-12 in the period. The Tigers shot 7-of-12 from the field with five different players recording a tally in the score column.
With 3:44 remaining before the break, Hansen caught a pass in the low post and converted a left-hand layup to grab Mizzou's first lead of the contest, 25-23. Her bucket was part of a 7-0 run.
In the midst of the second-quarter scoring success, the Tigers held the Bulldogs off the scoreboard for 4:24.
Mizzou extended its lead in the third quarter with an 11-0 run thanks to a trio of 3-pointers. In the stretch, the Tigers held Mississippi State scoreless for 4:08 as Hansen and Frank contributed crucial buckets to give Mizzou the lead for good.
Entering the fourth with an eight-point advantage, the Tigers did not relent in the final period, closing out the victory with a combined 17 points from Frank and Hansen. The team knocked down half of its shots while remaining calm at the free-throw line, shooting 9-of-10 (90%) in the closing minutes.
The Tigers shot 46.0 percent from the field along with a season-best 55.0 percent clip from long distance. The Bulldogs made 44.2 percent of their field goal attempts to go with 31.3 percent of their 3-pointers.
The Tigers hit the road for their final venture away from Columbia this season, starting with a trip to Texas A&M Monday. First tip from College Station, Texas, is scheduled for 6 p.m., and the contest will be broadcasted on SECN+ and KTGR.