Tigers Drop Defensive Struggle Against Arkansas
COLUMBIA -- A gritty effort by Mizzou (13-7, 2-4) was unable to lift the Tigers to victory as they fell by a 58-50 final to the Arkansas Razorbacks (14-5, 2-4) Thursday (Jan. 24) night at Mizzou Arena. Missouri showcased a balanced scoring attack, with eight of the 11 players to check into the game notching points for the home team and only Morgan Eye reaching double digits. The loss for the Tigers was the first of the season when outrebounding their opponent.
Both teams got off to a slow start to the game offensively, as only Liene Priede scored in the first four minutes for Mizzou, who trailed Arkansas 4-2 at the first media timeout. The Razorbacks gained some separation after the break, going on an 8-0 run to build the lead to double digits at 12-2 at the under-12 break. Senior Sydney Crafton then scored the second bucket of the game for Mizzou, cutting the deficit to 12-4, and Eye's straightaway three-pointer brought the Tigers to within five before an Arkansas score made it 14-7 at the under-8 timeout.
Priede cut into the lead with a layup, but a three by the visitors boosted the lead to eight. Maddie Stock's two was then answered quickly with a layup on the other end, and Crafton's "and-one" layup made the score 19-14 at the 3:18 mark. Lianna Doty and Kyley Simmons gave the Tigers five straight points after an Arkansas three, bringing the Tigers to within three at 22-19. The only score of the final minute of the half went to the Razorbacks, who took a 24-19 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Arkansas started the second half quickly, hitting a three and two free throws to build the lead to 10 before Liz Smith cut it back to eight with a layup. Back-to-back threes by Eye and Priede brought Mizzou to within two at 29-27 with 15:37 left in the contest. Bri Kuls and Smith made three free throws around a Razorback bucket to bring the Tigers within one, and Kulas's jumper put the Tigers on top 32-31. The lead was short lived, though, as Arkansas scored five straight points to take a 36-32 lead into the under-12 timeout.
Eye and Priede matched the Razorback effort by combining for five points to keep the Tigers within four at the under-8 media timeout. The Razorbacks took over after the break, going on a 6-0 run to boost the lead to 47-37, and Crafton's put-back layup brought the Tigers back to within single digits with 3:23 remaining.
Two Kulas free throws made the score 47-41 favoring Arkansas, but a quick Razorback layup meant an eight-point lead before Eye nailed another three to cut the deficit to five. Arkansas responded with a three on their next possession, giving the visitors a 52-44 lead, and a layup put the game out of reach with a ten-point lead with one minute remaining.
The Tigers take on the Texas A&M Aggies in College Station on Sunday (Jan. 27) before returning home to take on the Florida Gators on Thursday, Jan. 31.