Tigers start fast, claim first victory of season over Western Illinois

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By Ron Davis, 23 Sports

Sunday, Nov. 16-

Through two exhibition games, the Missouri women’s basketball team has struggled in victories against Lindenwood and Missouri Western. The team cam out to prove a point Saturday in the Black & Gold’s regular season opener against Western Illinois, as a 13-0 start propelled Mizzou to a 89-52 victory at Mizzou Arena.

After the Tigers jumped out a 13-0 lead, Western Illinois fought back and only trailed 17-14 eight minutes into the game. But senior Morgan Eye and sophomore Jordan Frericks took over the game. Eye had four three pointers in the half, and Frericks had eight points.

Mizzou also played great defense, holding the Leathernecks to 32 percent shooting, on 12 of 37 shots. The Tigers took a 44-29 lead into the locker room at halftime.

Eye came out on fire in the second half, and she quickly hit three three pointers early on. She only scored on three pointers, but her seven led to 21 points for the senior.

After Eye, it was sophomore Kayla McDowell who took over. For a stretch, she scored six of eight consecutive Missouri points, and she did more than just score. In addition to her eight points, she pulled down seven rebounds, dished out two assists, and anticipated a steal.

Missouri dominated in all phases in the game in the second half, but it all started with a great performance on the defensive end. Until the final five minutes of the game, the Leathernecks shot 1-20 from the field. The Tigers did allow some points in garbage time, but the game was well in hand, as the Tigers outscored Western Illinois 45-23 in the half.

Mizzou looks to improve to 2-0 on Tuesday when they play host to in-state foe Southeastern Missouri State. Following Tuesday’s game, the Tigers will participate in the Wahine Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii, where they will play tough teams such as UNLV, and California.