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Missouri women top Illinois State in WNIT first round

by News Tribune | March 17, 2023 at 12:30 a.m.
Missouri's Sara-Rose Smith puts up a shot during Thursday night's WNIT game against Illinois State at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. (Photo courtesy of Mizzou Athletics)

COLUMBIA -- Just hours after the Missouri men won their first NCAA Tournament game in 13 years, the women joined the party with their first postseason win since a 77-76 overtime win against Drake in the 2019 NCAA Tournament.

The Missouri women opened the Women’s NIT on Thursday with a 61-51 win against Illinois State at Mizzou Arena, setting up a matchup with today’s winner between Kansas and Western Kentucky.

As she has most of the past couple of months, Hayley Frank led the way for the Tigers with 15 points and six assists, while bringing down five rebounds for the second- highest total on the team.

Sara-Rose Smith added a double-double off the bench with 13 points and a team-high 11 rebounds, while Haley Troup added 11 points and true freshman Ashton Judd recorded eight points and four rebounds in her first postseason game.

Missouri shot 21-of-50 (42 percent) overall, 6-of-20 (30 percent) from 3 and 13-of-18 (72.2 percent) at the free-throw line, while bringing down 31 rebounds.

Missouri had a 15-5 advantage in points off turnovers, and a 25-7 lead in points off the bench.

The Tigers led wire to wire, taking the lead 20 seconds into the game and never giving it up.

DeAnna Wilson led Illinois State with 19 points, making 9-of-10 attempts at the free throw line, while totaling a double-double with 11 rebounds. Mary Crompton joined Wilson in double figures with 12 points, while bringing down three rebounds.

Illinois State hit 15-of-47 (31.9 percent) of its overall tries from the field, 3-of-14 (21.4 percent) from 3 and 18-of-23 (78.3 percent) at the free-throw line.

Missouri led 15-11 after the first quarter, 28-23 at halftime and built to a 44-34 lead after three quarters.

Illinois State ends the season with a record of 24-9.


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