Tiger Women Get Upset by Western Kentucky to Open Season

Seth Pollock, 23 Sports

The Mizzou women’s basketball team started their season Friday afternoon, looking to live up the hype of their #16 ranking. One game in, it is clear they still have work to do. The Tigers fell to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 79-76 in Iowa City, Iowa in the first round of the Hawkeye Challenge.

The first quarter was an even 17-17, but the Hilltoppers came out strong in the 2nd and took a 45-35 lead into half, boasted by a 20-8 run after the Tigers scored the first points of the quarter.

In the 3rd, Mizzou started a slow but began to mount a steady comeback. They outscored the Hilltoppers 21-16 in that quarter to cut the Western Kentucky lead to 61-56. In the 4th, Mizzou roared back quickly to take the lead, 64-63, thanks in large part to an 8-0 run concluding with Jordan Frericks layup with 4:21 remaining. The rest of the game was a back and forth affair. Western Kentucky took the lead back, and Mizzou took it back again. A pair of free throws by Sophie Cunningham with 3:35 remaining gave Mizzou what ended up being their last lead, 66-65. From then on Tasha Brown took over for the Hilltoppers, racking up six free throws in the final 2:35, including two in the final second.

Brown was the star of the show for WKU putting up 30 points. On the Mizzou side, Sophie Cunningham had 25 points on 9-14 shooting while Jordan Frericks had 24 on 11-16 shooting.

With the loss, Mizzou heads into the loser’s side of the bracket. They’ll play Quinnipiac, who lost to Iowa 83-67, Saturday at 2:00p.m.