The win, the Crimson Tide’s second Southeastern Conference victory of the season (2-9), evens Alabama’s record to 13-13 overall.
“I thought both teams really battled hard,” said Alabama Coach Kristy Curry. “Credit Missouri. I really love their team. Robin (Pingeton) does a great job. I love the heart and the hustle and the fundamentally sound players they have. I was just really, really happy for our kids because I thought we showed great toughness and perseverance. We made play after play when our backs were against the wall.”
Three Alabama scorers reached double-figures, led by redshirt freshman Karyla Middlebrook’s career-high 17-point performance. Rivers turned in 12 points for the Tide, to go along with sophomore Ashley Williams’ 10-point night. Sophomore Sierra Michaelis led the way for the Tigers with 28 points and 13 rebounds.
Alabama struggled offensively to start the game and found itself behind by eight points only minutes into the contest. The Tide then went on a 14-4 run over the next six minutes to take its first lead of the night. With the game tied 20-20, Alabama embarked on a 15-6 run to jump ahead by nine with 3:33 to go in the period. The Tide remained on top and held a 35-31 advantage at the half.
The second half saw six ties and 10 lead changes with neither team leading by more than three. Missouri was in front from the 6:15 mark until the three-pointer from Rivers gave the edge back to Alabama. Michaelis, who had been on fire for the Tigers all night, dipped her shoulder and drove on what would be the final play for Missouri, which resulted in a block by Hegstetter and the defensive rebound. The Tide forward would be fouled with 0.9 seconds to spare and went to the line for two. Hegstetter missed both attempts, but connected on a jumper in the end to secure the three-point victory.
For the game, Alabama shot 37.9 per cent (25-66), while Missouri was 42.6 per cent (23-54) from the floor. The Tigers hit 10 three pointers, but the Tide forced 16 Missouri turnovers while only committing seven.
Alabama will now hit the road for a pair of games against ranked opponents, beginning with No. 15/16 Texas A&M on Monday. The game will tip off at 6 p.m. CST on the SEC Network.