By Lauren Rosenberg
Missouri women’s basketball (5-15) were looking to bounce back after being blown out by No. 15 Texas A&M as No. 13 Kentucky (16-3) trotted into Columbia after a tightly contested win against Auburn.
Missouri started off the game with the hot hand, going on a 5-0 run courtesy of an Aijha Blackwell jumper, a steal-and-score from Jordan Chavis to Jordan Roundtree and a not converted and-one opportunity from Blackwell.
After that, it was all Kentucky. Sabrina Haines got Kentucky on the board with a jumper followed by one from Amanda Paschal to go on an 11-0 run, taking advantage of seven Tiger turnovers. Them two were the main shooters for the Wildcats in the first quarter. Blackwell ended the 6:09 scoring run with two free throws to make the score 7-11 in favor of Kentucky.
Nothing went right for Missouri throughout the second quarter. At the beginning, Kentucky started a new run, causing the Tigers to go on a 10:08 scoring drought. Blackwell and Amber Smith stopped the run with two consecutive jumpers but Kentucky wouldn’t let them score for another 4:01 when Hayley Frank drained two free-throws. Blair Green and and Blackwell played hot potato, alternating made shots but Green would drain a three-pointer to end the second quarter to put Kentucky up 34-17.
The third quarter was the brightest one for Missouri.
After the first half, Aijha Blackwell made history. She joined Missouri’s top 10 in freshman scoring, joining quality company Sophie Cunningham and Joni Davis for the 10th most points by a freshman in Mizzou history, passing Cierra Porter, Evan Unrau and Nancy Rutter. Blackwell finished the game with 277 career points.
It seemed as though Missouri might make a come-back. Chavis shot an electrifying three-pointer from 25 feet out at the shot clock buzzer to bring cut the deficit to 17. Missouri kept making shots left-and-right while Kentucky caught the turnover bug and cooled down with the exception of Paschal. Amber Smith drained a layup that seemed impossible to go in. Nadia Green stole the ball and went coast-to-coast, missing the layup, but Roundtree was there to drain the putback. Missouri outscored Kentucky 14-13, the most of the game for the Tigers to end the quarter with a score of 47-31 in favor of the Wildcats.
In the fourth quarter, Kentucky’s Haines opened it up with a bucket, but after that, it was all Missouri.
Blackwell started the Tigers’ 6-0 run and Kentucky saw themselves losing momentum.
Paschal would not let the momentum shift, draining two straight jumpers, one from behind-the-arc, to start a 6-2 scoring run.
Hayley Frank would break the run, draining a three. Blackwell would end the game sinking a pair of free-throws but it was not enough to tame the Wildcats as they beat Missouri with a score of 62-47.
Kentucky: Blair Green: 11 points and 3 steals, Amanda Paschal: 18 points and 5 rebounds, Chastity Patterson: 12 points. Missouri: Amber Smith: 12 points and 7 rebounds., Aijha Blackwell: 17 points, 9 rebounds, 2 blocks and 3 steals., Hayley Frank: 11 points and 7 rebounds.
Missouri will welcome the #25 Arkansas Razorbacks on Sunday for Black Out/National Girls and Women In Sports Day.
Edited by Garrett Jones | email@example.com