In a scrappy, physical game in which they trailed most of the time, the Wildcats went into Missouri's gym Saturday afternoon and came away with a 74-70 win. The Wildcats, playing their fourth straight game against a major conference opponent, came out really flat, and it almost cost them. The Tigers out-hustled the Wildcats and seemed to have the game in hand, but when it came to crunch time, NU wore the tired Tigers down and made the plays they needed down the stretch.
Missouri built an 8-point lead in the first half, but NU was able to cut the deficit to 1 at the break. Missouri then pulled ahead for a 65-61 lead with 3:56 left, before the Wildcats went on an 11-0 run and never looked back. Dannielle Diamant was neutralized for most of the game and started 1-10 from the floor, but came on fire in those last four minutes, hitting a deep 3 to get the rally started and then coolly going 8-8 from the FT line in the last 38 seconds to seal the win. She finished with 18 points.
Kendall Hackney had a team-high 20 points to go with seven boards. Both Hackney and Diamant played much of the second half with four fouls, depth still being an issue for the 'Cats. Morgan Jones, who the Missouri announcers made sure to mention several times throughout the broadcast chose to commit to the WIldcats over the Tigers, had 11 points, hitting some big shots, including the go-ahead basket on a nice pull-up jumper in the lane. Allison Mocchi, getting her first start in place of injured Brittany Orban, had a decent game with 9 points and 4 steals. As a team, the Wildcats shot 41.8% overall, and an outstanding 52.4% from behind the arc, with six players hitting at least one trey.
The nice win on the road brings NU to 6-1, and the Wildcats will now take the week off from action for finals. It'll be interesting to see how many votes NU picks up in the polls when they come out on Monday.