Women’s basketball grinds out victory against Vanderbilt

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By Joey Schneider, 23 Sports

Sunday, Feb. 22-

After losing six of their last nine games, Mizzou women’s basketball was able to fend off the Vanderbilt Commodores by a score of 54-51. Highlighted by timely offense, the Tigers picked up their fifth conference victory of the season and improved to 15-12 overall.

The Tigers got off to a quick start, controlling the early offensive momentum with a 15-6 run in the first eight minutes. Morgan Eye and Jordan Frericks showed leadership during Mizzou’s scoring outburst, as the pair of attackers combined for 20 points in the first half.

Shooting accuracy proved vital for Mizzou, who scored on over 50 percent of its shots from the field and 38.5 percent 3-pointers in the first half. The Tigers also benefited from Vanderbilt’s mistakes, as the Commodores struggled in the turnover department.

Vanderbilt kept pace with a balanced offense, and four Commodores co-led the team with four first half points. Fouls limited the Tigers from running away with a large lead, but Mizzou still carried a comfortable 33-23 lead at halftime.

The Commodores opened the second half with a strongly enforced game plan, using a 13-7 run in the next ten minutes to inch closer to Mizzou. Marqu’es Webb led Vanderbilt’s second half charge with seven points, yet the Commodores still showed signs of sloppiness with nine more turnovers.

Mizzou gradually regressed after a convincing first half. The Tigers not only suffered from nine fouls and nine turnovers in the final 20 minutes, but also hit a scoring drought over five minutes at one point in the second half.

Vanderbilt continued to persevere, pulling within one point with 1:33 remaining. However, several late offensive efforts helped the Tigers sustain a lead. Mizzou converted four of their last five free throws and received a crucial 3-pointer from Maddie Stock to hold on to their shrinking lead.

Although the two opponents combined for 10 points and made similar defensive mistakes in the final two minutes, Vanderbilt came up empty-handed. The Tigers needed almost every point possible to earn the victory, and were ultimately guided by double-digit totals from Morgan Eye, Jordan Frericks and Maddie Stock.

Mizzou Women’s Basketball faces another tough task in their next matchup, as they travel to Texas A&M to take on the Aggies Thursday at 7 p.m. The matchup is the Tigers’ last scheduled road game before their home finale on March 1.