The Missouri women’s basketball team advanced to the championship game of the CenturyTel Tiger Tournament for the 30th time in 30 tries with a 69-52 win over the Mississippi Valley State Devilettes at Mizzou Arena on Friday night.
Junior Alyssa Hollins led the Tigers (5-3) with 28 points, a career high. Hollins dropped 20 points in the first half. She is now averaging 22 points over her last four games.
Sophomore Jessra Johnson came off the bench to add 21 points and eight rebounds for Missouri.
Mississippi Valley State started 8-for-11 from the field and closed within 18-17 at the 11 minute mark of the first half, but Missouri’s defense held the Devilettes without a basket for almost seven minutes and extended their lead to ten points. Missouri held a 10-point lead at the half despite only shooting 33 percent from the field. The Tigers were never seriously threatened in the second half, with the lead hovering near 20 points for much of the period.
The Devilettes (4-1) were led by 16 points and eight rebounds from senior forward Portia Wilson, who leads the Southwestern Athletic Conference with averages of 22.8 points and 8.8 rebounds. Sophomore guard Amanda Hammond, with 11 points, was the only other player who reached double digits, and the Tigers sent MVSU to their first loss of the season.
Missouri advances to the championship game against Stephen F. Austin at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, which can be heard on KFRU/ 1400 AM. Stephen F. Austin overcame an early 12-0 deficit to beat Alcorn State, 71-54, in the opening round of the Tiger Tournament. Whitney Cormier scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds off the bench to lead the Ladyjacks. Alcorn State and Mississippi Valley State will play the consolation game 30 minutes after the conclusion of the championship.