COLUMBIA, Mo. –Mizzou Women's Basketball (1-0, 0-0 SEC) earned a 97-89 victory over Western Illinois (0-1, 0-0 Summit) on Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena to open the 2019-20 season. Five Tigers scored in double figures, including all four of Mizzou’s seniors, led by double-double performances from senior guard Amber Smith (Shreveport, La.) and redshirt senior forward Hannah Schuchts (Tallahassee, Fla.).
After a back-and-forth first quarter highlighted by seven combined three-pointers between the teams, Mizzou lead by one. The second quarter featured much of the same back-and-forth action, with neither team able to pull away. Senior guard Jordan Chavis’ (Lexington, N.C.) third three-pointer of the half in the final seconds gave Mizzou a two-point lead heading into the locker room. Western Illinois refused to go away easy and came out of the half on a 12-2 run. The Leathernecks rode that run to a four-point lead heading into the final quarter. The final quarter was highlighted by a Mizzou run that evened the game and created yet another back-and-forth battle resulting in overtime. Mizzou turned it up a notch in the overtime period and quickly pulled away from Western Illinois on their way to victory.
Mizzou played well fundamentally, winning the turnover battle and converting on 13-of-16 attempts from the charity stripe. Big performances down the stretch from experienced seniors Smith, Schuchts and Jordan Roundtree (St. Louis, Mo.) helped secure the come from behind win. The Tigers had big contributions off the bench as well and outscored the Leathernecks bench 28-13. Junior guard Elle Brown (Columbia, Mo.) led the Tigers’ reserves with a career high 15 points.
After Schuchts and Smith forced turnovers on back-to-back possessions, Brown converted on an and-one layup to cap a 7-0 Mizzou run and tie the game at 68 in the fourth quarter. A three-pointer from Schuchts with a minute remaining in the game put Mizzou up two. The two teams traded blows following the Schuchts three and the game went to overtime. After Western Illinois scored the first points of the overtime period, Mizzou responded with yet another and-one conversion to spark an 11-1 run. The Tigers never looked back and finished out overtime cruising to victory.
· Smith lead the way for the Tigers, recording her 11th career double-double with 27 points to along with 15 rebounds and four assists. Dating back to last season, Smith has now scored in double-figures in five of her last six games.
· Chavis also filled out the box score on the night, shooting 4-7 from beyond the arc and matching a career-high with 18 points.
· Schuchts posted her first career double-double with 11 points and a career-high 10 rebounds, and led the team in blocks with three.
· Not to be outdone, Roundtree recorded 14 points of her own, including a crucial three in overtime.
· Mizzou’s 97 points scored were the most scored by Mizzou since Feb. 23, 2017 in a 100-65 victory over Ole Miss.
· Mizzou had five players score in double figures for the first time since an 88-54 win over Arkansas on Jan. 21, 2018.
· Senior guard Amber Smith (Shreveport, La.) led the way with 27 points, one-point shy of her career-high and her seventh career 20-point game, while setting a new career-high in rebounds with 15. Smith also set a career-high in field goals with 11 and matched a career-high in steals with three.
· Smith’s 27-point, 15-rebound performance was her 11th career double-double, and the ninth since the beginning of last season.
· Smith’s production is just the 18th occurrence of 27+ points and 15+ rebounds in program history, and the first since Jordan Frericks’ 27-point, 17-rebound performance vs. Bradley on Dec. 6, 2014.
· Senior guard Jordan Chavis (Lexington, N.C.) surpassed her 2018-19 season-high in points (11) in the second quarter, as she matched her career-high with 18 points, tying her performance vs. Vanderbilt on Jan. 11, 2018.
· Chavis backed up her impressive performance with a career-high eight assists, as she played a career-high 41 minutes.
· Senior forward Hannah Schuchts (Tallahassee, Fla.) notched her first career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. The Tiger senior set a new career-high in rebounds with her first double-digit effort on the boards.
· Mizzou had two players record double-doubles for the first time since Sophie Cunningham and Smith each had double-doubles vs. Quinnipiac on Nov. 24, 2018.
· Junior guard Elle Brown (Columbia, Mo.) started the year off strong, tallying 15 points in 32 minutes, both career-highs. Her previous highs were seven points (last Nov. 19, 2018, vs. SIUE) and 13 minutes played (Nov. 24, 2017, vs. Coppin State).
· Brown also notched career-highs in assists (six), steals (two), field goals made (five) and free throws made (five).
· Senior guard Jordan Roundtree (St. Louis, Mo.) posted a career-high in free throws made, connecting on 5-of-6 from the charity stripe.
· Freshman forward Hayley Frank (Strafford, Mo.) and freshman guard AIjha Blackwell (Berkeley, Mo.) each started in their first collegiate contests, and scored seven points and one point, respectively.
Mizzou continues its three-game home stand to start the season, welcoming old Big 12 foe Nebraska to Mizzou Arena on Sunday, Nov. 10. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. CT, and will be broadcast on SEC Network +.
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