COLUMBIA, S.C. – Despite keeping the contest close early, the University of Missouri women’s basketball team (14-5, 3-3 SEC) could not pull off a second consecutive upset against No. 1 South Carolina (18-0, 6-0) as the Tigers fell, 81-50 Sunday afternoon at Colonial Life Arena.
Senior guard Lauren Hansen (Long Island, N.Y.) paced the Tigers’ offense by scoring in double figures for the 15th time this season, producing 14 points while being a major reason the Tigers played a close game early.
The Tigers and Gamecocks traded buckets for the first quarter of action, but South Carolina claimed a 19-17 lead after 10 minutes. Mizzou held the lead for 2:50 of the opening period, with Hansen dropping nine points on a pair of 3-pointers.
Shooting from long-range kept Mizzou in the contest through the first half, as the Tigers shot 5-of-10 from beyond the arc during that stretch. Mizzou entered the contest with the fourth-highest 3-point shooting clip in the conference at 34.9%.
The Gamecocks gained separation in the second quarter with an offensive rebounding advantage and strong defense in the post. With under three minutes before the half, the Tigers’ deficit was seven points before South Carolina’s big run bolstered its lead to double figures.
South Carolina continued to build its lead in the third quarter as the Tigers only produced nine points in the period. Mizzou outscored the Gamecocks, 13-12 in the fourth quarter, though the deficit was too large to overcome in the final period.
After Mizzou kept the deficit within single digits midway through the second quarter, South Carolina took control of the contest with a 12-0 run to end the first half and sustained a double-digit lead for the remainder of the contest.
- Hansen recorded a team-high 14 points in her fourth consecutive game of double-digit scoring.
- Senior forward Hayley Frank (Strafford, Mo.) bounced back by scoring nine points while shooting 3-of-5 from long range. She also led Mizzou’s rebounding efforts with six boards.
- Junior guard Mama Dembele (Manlleu, Spain) came to life in the second half in the second half, scoring six points on 3-of-5 shooting.
- South Carolina continued building its all-time series lead against Mizzou, making it 9-4 with the victory.
- The Tigers shot 50% from the field on 5-of-10 shooting, the ninth occasion in which Mizzou has made at least half its field goals in the opening period.
- Mizzou shot 85.7% from the charity stripe on 12-of-14 shooting. It marks the second consecutive contest in which the Tigers have shot at least 85% from the free-throw line.
- The last time Mizzou shot over 85% from the stripe in back-to-back games came last season, when the Tigers accomplished the feat with games against Florida (Feb. 27, 2022) and Arkansas (March 3, 2022).
- Hansen was instrumental in the team’s success at the charity stripe, swishing a career-high eight makes from the line on nine attempts.
- The free-throw shooting clip is tied for the highest free-throw percentage an opponent has shot against South Carolina this season.
- In the first quarter, Mizzou scored 17 points against the nation’s top-ranked scoring defense. It was just the fourth time the Gamecocks have allowed that many points in an opening period.
- Mizzou outscored South Carolina in the fourth quarter, 13-12. It is just the ninth time across 72 quarters this season that an opponent has outscored the Gamecocks.
The Tigers return to Mizzou Arena for their next contest Sunday against Tennessee. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on SECN+ and KTGR.
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