By Teddy Maiorca
Missouri Women’s Basketball opened up its preseason with a thrilling 94-55 victory over Truman State on Thursday at Mizzou Arena. The game marks the beginning of the Tiger’s 10th season under head coach Robin Pingeton, who looks to lead the team to a fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
Missouri came out strong with an 18-6 first quarter and then exploded for a 37-point second quarter, entering the locker room at halftime with a 36 point lead over the Bulldogs.
The second half was more even between the two teams, but the Tigers refused to let up, scoring 39 points to seal their win.
The freshmen duo of Hayley Frank and Aijah Blackwell made their debuts in a Missouri uniform in impressive fashion, combining for 47 points. Blackwell’s 25 points led the team, with Frank close behind scoring 22. Head coach Robin Pingeton said she was pleased with their performance.
“They compliment each other so well,” Pingeton said. “I think it’s pretty exciting. I love the passion that Aijah plays with and Haley is so consistent in everything she does. They’re both going to have very bright futures and I thought they had an outstanding first game for us in a Mizzou uniform,” she said after the game.
Blackwell chose number 33 prior to game in honor of her father, former Missouri running back Ernest Blackwell. The number was un=retired by Missouri Women’s Basketball for her to wear hanging upin the rafters in honor of Joni Davis for 34 years. Davis holds the second spot on the all-time scoring leaders list for Missouri, just behind Sophie Cunningham.
Blackwell said she was very thankful to wear the number. The announcement came early Thursday in a video posted by Mizzou Athletics. Blackwell was surprised by her teammates as they presented the number 33 jersey to her.
“It still brings me to tears just thinking about it,” Davis said. “She’s amazing. I’m just appreciative of her letting me wear that number. It means a lot. It’s more than a number,” she said.
Missouri continues the preseason against Fontbonne University on Tuesday, October 29 at Mizzou Arena Truman State travels to Normal, Illinois, to face Illinois State Nov. 5.
Edited by Garrett Jones | firstname.lastname@example.org