MO State HS Sports

Women’s Basketball Begins 2023-24 Season Against Belmont

Haley Frank

COLUMBIA, Mo. – University of Missouri Women’s Basketball opens its 50th season at 11:30 a.m. Monday against Belmont in Mizzou Arena. The contest will air on SEC Network+.

After leading the Tigers to their 10th postseason appearance in the last 11 seasons in 2022-23, head coach Robin Pingeton enters her 14th year at the helm of the Missouri program.

Mizzou returns six players from a season ago headlined by graduate forward Hayley Frank who ranks ninth on the program’s all-time scoring list with 1,575 points. Frank was named to the Preseason All-SEC First Team on Oct. 24.

The Strafford, Mo. native led the team with 15.4 points and 4.3 rebounds a season ago as she was recognized on the all-conference second team following the season.

All-SEC Freshman Team honoree Ashton Judd returns for her second year in a Tigers’ uniform. Judd ranked third in the SEC and set a Missouri freshman record with a 44.9% 3-point percentage a season ago.

Judd is the Tigers’ second-leading returning scorer with 7.4 points per game last year.

Missouri added three transfer additions to bolster the new-look roster. Graduates Abby Feit and Angelique Ngalakulondi bring a wealth of veteran experience to the Tigers’ locker room.

Feit, a former All-MVC First-Team player scored over 1,500 points with the Aces and averaged 15.5 points per game last year.

Ngalakulondi, who led the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage (56.6%) in 2022-23 arrived in Columbia after four seasons at UMass.

Missouri’s 2022 signing class is poised to make its collegiate debut on Monday. Grace Slaughter, the nation’s No. 58 ranked prospect and the No. 1 player in the state of Missouri and will make her first collegiate appearance in the season opener. The Grain Valley, Mo. product notched McDonalds All-American status and was named the 2023 Missouri Gatorade Player of the Year.

The arrival of Slaughter gives Missouri three former state Gatorade Player of the Year honorees. Frank claimed the award for the state of Missouri in 2018 and 2019 while, Ngalakulondi was recognized with the accolade for her home state of New Hampshire in 2019.

Entering the contest, Mizzou is 40-9 all-time in season openers including a 12-1 record in the Pingeton era. Additionally, the Tigers are 41-8 in home openers with a 13-0 mark with Pingeton at the helm.

The opener will mark the second meeting between the Tigers and Bruins. Missouri defeated Belmont, 82-70 on Dec. 16, 2013, in the team’s only contest.

The Bruins are led by Bart Brooks who is in his seventh year on the sidelines.

Belmont enters the new season after claiming the MVC regular season title a season ago. The Bruins accumulated a 23-12 record a season ago including a 17-3 mark against conference opponents. 

The visitors concluded their season with a loss to Ball State in the first round of the WNIT.

Displaying efficient offensive production, the Bruins ranked 25th in the country with 8.3 3-pointers a game while also ranking 48th nationally in field-goal percentage (43.78%) a season ago.

In a partnership with Columbia Public Schools, Missouri will welcome over 2,500 elementary and middle school students from the surrounding area to Mizzou Arena on Monday for the opener.


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This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics