The University of Missouri women’s basketball team opened its 2010-11 season with a 67-40 victory over the Memphis Tigers on Friday evening in Memphis. Mizzou led by as many as 33 in the second half as the team picked up its first win with Head Coach Robin Pingeton on the sidelines.
Senior RaeShara Brown led the Tigers with 19 points and five assists and seniorShakara Jones and junior Christine Flores each notched double-double. Jones posted 11 points and tied her career high with 14 rebounds and Flores posted 13 points and 13 assists.
The Tigers were firing on all cylinders to open the contest as all five starters scored a basket less than two and a half minutes into the game. Mizzou got on the scoreboard just 16 seconds into the game. Senior Jasmyn Otote grabbed an offensive rebound and hit the ensuing layup.
Flores sank a three-pointer on Missouri’s following possession, Mills drove into the lane for a layup, Brown converted a fastbreak layup and Jones grabbed an offensive board and hit a basket for an 11-2 Tiger lead with 17:35 on the clock.
A three from Alex Winchell cut Missouri’s lead to five, 12-7, two minutes later. However the Tigers ran off a 12-4 run over the next 8:58 as the team built a 24-11 advantage with 6:35 left in the first. Brown scored the first eight points of the run herself, followed by baskets from Flores and Jones.
Missouri kept its intensity up and reeled off another 14-6 run to earn its biggest lead of the first half, 38-17, after Jones recorded another second chance basket with 1:45 remaining in the frame. Memphis’ Brittany Carter hit two free throws with 56 seconds on the clock to close scoring at the break, with Mizzou on top 38-19.
Memphis struck first in the second half with a jumper by Jasmine Lee but the visiting Tigers scored the game’s next eight points to take a 46-21 advantage. Flores notched the final five points of the run.
Brown was again in the midst of everything when the senior rolled in a driving layup, grabbed a steal and found Otote for a fastbreak layup and hit a trey as Mizzou went on top 55-29 at the 10:31 mark.
Junior Bailey Gee found her stroke and scored nine consecutive points for Missouri over a two and a half minute stretch to help the visitors build a 64-32 advantage with 5:35 remaining in the contest.
Missouri continues its road trip as the team travels to Charleston, Illinois tomorrow for a 4:00 afternoon game against the Eastern Illinois Panthers.