Kayshelle Johnson-23Sports

The Missouri Women’s basketball team ended a two-game losing streak Thursday night inside Vanderbilt University Memorial Gym. The Tigers walked away with a 78-66 victory after freshmen Hayley Frank and Aijha Blackwell combined for a total of 42 points.

At the start of the game, Missouri’s energy sparked after senior Jordan Chavis converted an and-one underneath the basket. Along with establishing Missouri’s tempo, she hit 2 three-pointers, one of which increased their lead to eight to end the first quarter.

Missouri forward Hayley Frank began the second quarter with an emphatic three-pointer. Frank did not shy away from pulling the trigger and knocking down threes as she hit another from the beyond the arc later in the quarter. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Frank’s hot shooting was not enough to maintain their lead. Vanderbilt led by two points going into halftime.

Entering the second half, Missouri’s defense kept Vanderbilt on their feet. Vanderbilt was yet to score from beyond the arc, shooting 0-9 from downtown. The third quarter consisted multiple lead changes in a hard-fought battle. The final score of the quarter resulted in a 52-52 tie.

Vanderbilt kicked off the fourth quarter by making a three-point play to give them the quarter’s first lead. Soon after, Missouri became lights out from three. Frank hit back to back three-pointers, shooting a career-high 5-7 from the arc. Blackwell and Frank then go on a 13-2 run. Blackwell also reached a career-high in blocks with four to go along with three steals. The duo gave their bench new life and a reason to cheer. In the blink of an eye, Missouri led Vanderbilt by 14 after Blackwell made a free throw.

By the end of the game Frank lead the team with 24 points as Blackwell followed up with 18 points. Two other Missouri players scored in double figures. Missouri improves to 7-19 on the season and 4-9 in SEC.

On Sunday, Feb. 23 the Missouri Tigers will face off against Ole Miss on their home court for senior night at 5 p.m.