Crafton scores 14 off the bench for Missouri women

CHARLESTON, Ill. — Despite a career-high 28 points from Christine Flores, the Missouri Tigers dropped an 81-73 decision at Eastern Illinois on Sunday.

The Panthers jumped out to a 32-21 lead at halftime and built the edge to 45-31 with 14:17 remaining in the game.

That’s when the Tigers put together a furious charge and trimmed the lead to 49-48 with 8:50 left when RaeShara Brown nailed a 3-pointer off an assist from Sydney Crafton (Jefferson City High School).

The Tigers eventually tied the game at 52 with 7:16 remaining on a pair of free throws by Crafton.

Missouri tied it one last time, at 54 with 5:47 remaining, on a layup by Flores. But Missouri’s bench was whistled for a technical foul on the play and the Panthers hit the ensuing free throw. That jump-started a 10-0 run, and Eastern Illinois (1-1) never looked back.

Brown ended up with a double-double for the Tigers, scoring 14 points and pulling down 11 rebounds, while Crafton chipped in with a career-high 14 points off the bench.

Missouri (1-1) will return to action next week with three games in the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.

The Tigers open Nov. 25 against Tennessee.

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