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Missouri women’s basketball has two experienced seniors returning after the 2023-2024 seasons

Two Missouri women’s basketball seniors, after missing all or most of last season, will be back next season for a final year of eligibility.

Six-foot-three forward Angelique Ngalakulondi and point guard De’Myla Brown each return for the Tigers as sixth-year students after heavily or completely impacted 2023-2024 campaigns.

A team spokesperson confirmed to the Columbia Daily Tribune that Ngalakulondi had been cleared for a medical waiver, while Brown is now eligible to play after sitting out a season due to a violation of NCAA transfer guidelines — a rule that will likely no longer exist.

Ngalakulondi started eight straight games in MU’s 2023 non-conference schedule after transferring to Mizzou from UMass. She suffered a season-ending injury in the 2023–24 season after averaging 5.3 points and 4.5 rebounds in 12.5 minutes per game.

Brown never suited up for Missouri after transferring from Houston — her fifth move in five seasons — because MU’s transfer waiver request was never approved. This type of suspension is unlikely to happen at any time in the near future due to a civil antitrust lawsuit the Justice Department filed against the NCAA in January and was settled in late May.

Yahoo Sports’ Ross Dellenger reported that the lawsuit, if approved by the court, means the NCAA cannot enforce the transfer eligibility rules or impose “a similar rule in the future.”

Mizzou is the fifth team Brown has played for in her college career, which started at Western Kentucky and included season stops at Chipola College, Illinois and, most recently, Houston.

Missouri forward Angelique Ngalakulondi takes a shot during a college basketball game against Indiana State at Mizzou Arena on November 9, 2023 in Columbia, Missouri.Missouri forward Angelique Ngalakulondi takes a shot during a college basketball game against Indiana State at Mizzou Arena on November 9, 2023 in Columbia, Missouri.

Missouri forward Angelique Ngalakulondi takes a shot during a college basketball game against Indiana State at Mizzou Arena on November 9, 2023 in Columbia, Missouri.

Both additions fill significant needs for Missouri, which enters the season with coach Robin Pingeton in the final year of her current contract.

At 6-2, Ngalakulondi provides some much-needed size for a Tigers team that finished last in offensive rebounding and second-to-last in total rebounding. Mizzou has also secured a commitment from Texas transfer Tionna Herron, a 6-4 second-year center, to strengthen the frontcourt.

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Brown’s availability coincides with an opening at point guard, as last season’s starter Mama Dembélé opted to transfer to USF as a graduate transfer.

Mizzou returns three of its five-minute leaders from last season in guards Ashton Judd, Abbey Schreacke and Grace Slaughter. Junior guard Averi Kroenke is expected to return from an injury that will rule her out for the entire 2023-24 season.

The Tigers have been active in the transfer portal, landing commitments from Herron, Southern Illinois forward Laniah Randle, Presbyterian guard Tilda Sjökvist and New Mexico guard Nyah Wilson. Two freshmen will be added to the 2024-2025 team, while Texas products Londyn Oliphant, a point guard, and Ma’Riya Vincent, a 6-0 forward, will transfer to Columbia.

This article originally appeared on Columbia Daily Tribune: Ngalakulondi, Brown returns for Missouri women’s basketball

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