January 29, 2023

COLUMBIA, Mon – The University of Missouri women’s basketball team kicks off a two-game road trip with a trip to Athens, Georgia, where the Tigers take on the Bulldogs. Tip from the Stegeman Coliseum is scheduled for 6pm, the competition will continue to be broadcast SECN+ and CTGR.

The Tigers go into 14-6 overall with a 3-4 lead in the SEC game after a narrow home loss to Tennessee. After falling behind in the first quarter, Mizzou outplayed the Lady Vols in each of the final three quarters, though a late run put Tennessee ahead in the closing seconds. The loss is the fourth in a row for the Tigers.

senior forward Hayley Frank led the offense with a season-high 26 points on 9-of-16 shots from the field. Her score was the highest by a Tigress this season and also marked her 20th career game with 20+ points. She also recorded a season-high 40 minutes along with three boards and a trio of assists.

Another important factor for the Tigers was the junior center Jayla Kelly, whose breakthrough performance propelled the Tigers into the first half. With a career-high 14 points and nine rebounds, she narrowly missed a double-double. Kelly also played a career-high 26 minutes.

Mizzou also received a standout performance from freshman guard Averi Krönke, whose 33 minutes shattered her career-high by tying her career-high seven points and breaking another career-high five steals. Her steals are the most by a Mizzou newcomer since Mom Dembele plucked six on February 28, 2021 in the state of Mississippi.

The Tigers again had great success at the free throw line, hitting 6 of 7 (85.7%) from the stripe. For the third year in a row, Mizzou hit at least 85 percent of his free throws. The last time the Tigers accomplished this feat was between February 24 and March 3, 2022.

As Missouri enters the competition Thursday, Frank has an opportunity to move up the Tigers’ all-time scoring charts. With 1,373 points to her name, Frank is just one point away from surpassing her Morgan eye (1,374) for the 14th, eight off Kesha Bonds (1,381) for 13th place and 16 points Erica Fields (1,390) for the 12th

Mizzou and Georgia will face off for the 18th time in history, with the Bulldogs leading the all-time series 11-6. The Tigers are in the midst of a three-game losing streak against Georgia, with the most recent win coming on Feb. 6, 2020, when the Tigers came back from a fourth-quarter deficit to knock out the Bulldogs in Athens.

Georgia goes into Thursday’s matchup with a 13-8 record while sitting 2-5 in SEC competition. The Bulldogs are also experiencing a losing streak after losing their last three, including a narrow loss at Texas A&M on Sunday.

Head coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson is leading the Bulldogs in their first year at the helm in Athens after an impressive six years at UCF. The Golden Knights finished the 2021-22 regular season 26-4 and, under the leadership of Abrahamson-Henderson, won the American Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles.

She inherited a Bulldogs team that ended with a 20-8 record, an NCAA tournament appearance, and a final finish of 12th on the AP Top 25.

The makeup of Georgia’s roster is very different from last year’s roster, as three of the regular starters changed. The Bulldogs are also the most freshmen in the SEC at 10. Guard Diamond Battles and forward Brittney Smith, both UCF transfers, lead Georgia scored after joining Abrahamson-Henderson this offseason and they’ve picked up where they left off last season.

Battles was named to the preseason sophomore All-SEC list after earning AAC Player of the Year and a WBCA All-American Honorable Mention last season, and is averaging 13.7 points per game this year and 3.0 assists per contest.

Smith was named sixth AAC Player of the Year last year and has continued her strong play at 12.2 points per game and 5.9 boards per game.

FOLLOW THE TIGERS

Stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team @MizzouWBB (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) for the latest on Mizzou women’s basketball.

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