GAINSVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Hayley Frank scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Missouri to a 78-73 upset of No. 15 Florida on Sunday to close the regular season.
Frank, who was 8-of-11 shooting, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range, and 5 of 5 from the foul line, did all her damage of going scoreless in the first quarter and fouling out with 2:11 to play. She had 10 points in the second quarter, in a two-minute surge, when the Tigers took the lead, and had 10 in the third to help Missouri keep the lead.
Izzy Higginbottom added 15 off the bench for the for the Tigers (18-11, 7-9 Southeastern Conference), who got a big boost towards making the NCAA Tournament after going 6-9 since defeating No. 1 South Carolina. Mama Dembele scored 13 and Lauren Hansen 12.
The Tigers scored their last 12 points from the foul line, starting with Frank’s three-point play, with 2:22 to play that made it 67-57, on 15 attempts. Higginbottom was 8 for 8 and Dembele, a 59% shooter, 9 of 10 as Missouri went 14 of 17 in the fourth quarter and 25 of 29 for the game.
Jordyn Merritt had all of her career-high 23 points in the second half while KiKi Smith had 13 of her 15 in the fourth quarter for the Gators (20-9, 10-6), who missed a chance to tie the school record for conference wins. Florida also lost a double-bye heading into the SEC tournament, falling to the fifth-seed.
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