Balanced offense leads women’s basketball to 81-70 win over Vanderbilt

Missouri was led by 18-point performances from Amber Smith and Jordan Chavis.

Amber Smith Courtesy of Mizzou Athletics

Missouri women’s basketball won its second straight game and moved to 3-1 in Southeastern Conference play, beating Vanderbilt 81-70 in Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday.

The Tigers continued their positive momentum after upsetting then-No. 4 South Carolina last Sunday and were led by 18 points from sophomores Amber Smith and Jordan Chavis.

Smith led the offense with 12 first-quarter points, hitting two 3-pointers to give the Tigers an early 8-5 lead and a 25-15 advantage at the end of the quarter.

Smith has been an offensive leader for the Tigers in conference play. She has averaged 21.7 points over her last three games, scoring 18 points or more in all three contests.

Smith has given Missouri another option offensively and has taken pressure off of junior Sophie Cunningham, who made her second start since coming back from a knee sprain suffered in the Tigers’ conference opener versus Alabama.

After Smith’s big first quarter, Chavis took over in the second, hitting four 3s in a four-minute stretch in the second quarter, with the last 3 moving the Tiger lead to 18 with 2:02 left in the half. Chavis hit five of her career-high six triples in the first half and also added three assists and two rebounds off the bench.

Missouri shared the ball well on offense, tallying a season-high 22 assists. The Tigers played inside-out with their bigs making the extra pass to free up outside shooters. Missouri made 11 3s and shot 11 for 23 from behind the arc.

Redshirt senior Jordan Frericks and redshirt junior Lauren Aldridge led the Tigers with six assists each. Frericks had a strong all-around game, adding 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds.

The Tigers will face Ole Miss on Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. in Oxford, Mississippi. The game will be broadcast on SEC Network. Edited by Joe Noser | jnoser@themaneater.com

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