By Lauren Rosenberg
The Missouri Tigers returned home to host the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in a crucial momentum shifting game.
Missouri was on a four-game losing streak, the worst skid since the 2014-2015 season, after two heartbreaking losses at home against Nebraska in overtime and Northern Iowa and two losses at Green Bay and South Dakota.
Missouri started off with high momentum. Nadia Green, who was starting for the second time in her career, gave the first points of the game with a layup, followed by a layup on the opposite side by Bria Stallworth.
Green would continue her first quarter dominance, recording two offensive rebounds after a Hannah Schuchts missed three and Green’s own missed jumper, which led to a made layup.
Meanwhile on the defensive side, Amber Smith came up with a huge block on Mikala Hall with 0.01 seconds left in the quarter that would start her big defensive day.
Green would end up scoring Missouri’s first eight points out of 10 before a stoppage in play for substitutions.
SIUE was not ready to give up in the early minutes of the first quarter. Ajulu Thatha would come up with a three to give the Cougars the lead followed by another three by Chirsten King to make the score 14-18.
After two free throws from Smith and Jordan Chavis respectively and a steal by Smith, Aijha Blackwell was able to regain the lead for the Tigers with a layup but Alek Akuen would tie it up on a mid-range jumper followed by a block by Smith on King to tie up the game at 20.
For 2:19, both teams would be stone cold from shooting until Blackwell converted a jumper to take the lead followed by a layup from Smith.
The Tigers would take control of the second quarter, not allowing the Cougars to score for 3:28 while going on a 5-0 run until Mikayla Kinnard ended the drought.
Green would show her offensive IQ to find a cutting Jordan Roundtree for her first points of the game.
Missouri wouldn’t allow SIUE to score for the rest of the half, going on another 5-0 run to end the half with a score of 35-24.
Missouri came into the third quarter with momentum. They continued their 5-0 run from the half, extending it to 9-0 with Green recording the first points on a cutting layup off an inbound assist from Chavis. Stallworth would snap the run with a three followed by a three from Mikia Keith.
Smith would respond with a three of her own, her first of the day followed by a mid-range jumper by Blackwell at the shot clock buzzer.
Garner would take advantage of her extended minutes and record her first college points after being blocked on her first attempt by Hall and getting the putback.
SIUE continued to fight but Missouri had the third-quarter in their hands capped off by a three by Hayley Frank.
The fourth-quarter was do-or-die time for both squads. Allie Troeckler started off the quarter with a layup but Garner responded with two straight layups, the first after a single dribble fake. Garner would record a jumper.
Blackwell would get an and-one opportunity after a putback from Garner’s miss. Her struggles from the charity stripe continued as she doesn’t convert the opportunity. Blackwell would end up finding Garner for a wide-open jumper after a cutting under the basket assist.
Turnovers would plague the Tigers in the fourth but the Cougars weren’t able to capitalize on the fast-break opportunities.
Frank gets fouled for an and-one opportunity and converts it to officially seal the runaway deal for Missouri.
Missouri snapped their four-game skid to advance to 2-4 with a score of 68-51.
Nadia Green and Brittany Garner starred, both gaining career highs in points and minutes, with 10 points and 20 minutes and 8 points 12 minutes respectively, among other statistics.
Christen King: Nine points, 11 rebounds and three steals on 23% shooting.
Allie Troeckler: 10 points, eight rebounds and one steal on 50% shooting.
Nadia Green: 10 points and eight rebounds on 63% shooting.
Hannah Schuchts: Five points and two blocks on 75% shooting.
Amber Smith: 15 points, seven rebounds, one steal and three blocks on 50% shooting from the field, 100%, 1/1, from three and 100%, 6/6, from the stripe.
Missouri will be travelling to Cancun for the Cancun classic and will face off against New Mexico on Nov. 28 and North Carolina on Nov. 29.
Edited by Emma Moloney | email@example.com