IOWA CITY, IOWA — Tashia Brown scored 13 of Western Kentucky's 18 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 30 as the Lady Toppers opened the season with a 79-76 upset of No. 16 Missouri on Friday at the Hawkeye Challenge.
The Tigers took their last lead at 66-65 with 3:35 to play on two free throws by Sophie Cunningham but Brown quickly responded with a 3-pointer. Cunningham tied the game at 70 with a layup with 2:04 to go and Sidnee Bopp answered that with a 3-pointer. Brown scored the last six points for Western Kentucky in the final minute, including a contested pull-up jumper with 17.5 seconds to play and two free throws with 1.1 to go.
Dee Givens added 20 points for the Hilltoppers, who outscored Missouri 27-17 in the second quarter to lead 45-35 at the half. It is the third-straight season Western Kentucky has knocked off a Top 25 team.
Cunningham finished with 25 points to become the 35th member of Missouri's 1,000-point club, and the junior is the second-fastest to reach the milestone. Jordan Frericks added 24 points for the Tigers, who have their highest ranking since Nov. 11, 1984. Cierra Porter had her 14th double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
The Lady Toppers (1-0) will face Iowa (1-0) at 4:30 p.m. Saturday.