After a tumultuous loss against No. 13 Tennessee on Thursday, Mizzou returns home to face the Arkansas Razorbacks today at 2 pm on SECN+.
Arkansas is coming off a stellar win against Auburn where they defeated the Tigers 68-66 courtesy of an Amber Ramirez buzzer beater. Mizzou is looking to get over the 78-62 loss against Tennessee in their Pink Game. For a detailed account of the last game, check out my takeaways . post.
The last time these teams faced off was at the beginning of SEC play in January where Arkansas came out with the 83-73 win in Fayetteville. Mizzou had a good shooting game but was plagued with a turnover bug. Arkansas used Mizzou’s turnovers to their advantage and scored 13 points off them.
Both teams are different than what they were over a month ago, though. Mizzou is looking to defeat Arkansas and shatter their five game Missouri winning streak. Here are the keys to the game.
1. Limit turnovers at all costs.
I really can’t keep track of how many times I’ve written this exact key in the past, but it’s been a ton. When Mizzou limits their turnovers, it has been fruitful. However, there have also been games where the Tigers turned it over 20+ times and it led to disaster, unsurprisingly.
In their first meet up, Mizzou turned the ball over 13 times, compared to Arkansas’ two. 13 turnovers is not an alarming number in Mizzou terms, and Coach Pingeton always aims for her team to stay between the 10-12 mark.
The more pressing issue is Mizzou’s inability to keep up with opponents in transition after committing turnovers. It doesn’t matter how well you’re shooting, if Mizzou can’t limit their turnovers, it will be another messy game.
2. Play tough coming out of the half.
I have no doubt in my mind Mizzou is extremely motivated after the horrific third quarter mess against Tennessee. They ended the game outscoring Tennessee 29-18 in the fourth quarter. That fourth quarter display is definitely a sign that the Tigers can overcome terrible third quarters. It’s just a matter of if it’s too late.
No matter if the Tigers are in the lead or trailing at the half, Mizzou has no choice but to come out of the locker room running. This season, Mizzou’s done pretty well in limiting the third quarter bug and often played their best game in that quarter. Recently, though, that hasn’t been the case. With their current trend, Mizzou’s game in the third quarter will more than likely be the deciding factor in this game.
3. Use more of the bench than last time.
In the previous meeting, Coach P didn’t use her bench to the extent people (i.e. me) probably wanted her to. The most shocking part was when LaDazhia Williams left the game after 11 minutes with an injury, Coach P didn’t go to Jayla Kelly to fill in the void at all. (note: I’m not one to judge rotation moves because I am not the coach, but I’m simply giving my take. This was odd.)
Thankfully, Williams is back and playing extremely well as of late. Coach P is also going to her bench a lot more than a month ago. Against Tennessee, t was primarily because they were getting blown out and needed a spark. If Coach P decides to utilize her bench, especially when the starters look gassed and the team needs a spark, it can end up as a huge benefit. It means more rest for the starters during the game and a fresh pair of legs to keep up with the Razorbacks’ quick guards.
Starting lineups: Back to the usual lineup of Hansen, Dembele, Troup, Blackwell and Frank.
Mizzou wins the tip and Dembele steps through the defense for the first points if the game. Mizzou leads 2-0.
Dembele once again steps through the defense for a lefty scoop. Mizzou leads 4-0.
Frank hits a wide-open three on the right wing. Mizzou leads 7-4.
Williams goes to work on the post and hits a lefty hook shot. Mizzou leads 9-8.
Dembele gets a steal and converts in transition. Mizzou leads 11-10.
Williams gets a huge block and swats the ball to the stands.
After missing a jumper off the inbound, Izzy Higginbottom hits a three after a Blackwell offensive rebounds. Mizzou leads 14-12.
Dembele takes the ball all the way for a lefty layup. Mizzou leads 16-15.
Frank drives baseline and finds a cutting Blackwell who makes the layup and is fouled for the and-one opportunity. She misses the free throw. Mizzou leads 18-15.
Great hustle from Kiya Dorroh to force a jump ball.
At the end of the first quarter, Mizzou leads Arkansas 18-15.
Troup drives and dishes to Williams who pump fakes and goes up for the two to start the second quarter. Mizzou leads 20-15.
Frank throws up a three at the end of the shot clock from deep range and banks it in. Mizzou leads 23-18.
Dembele passes inside to Williams who hits a post up layup. Mizzou leads 25-21.
Frank banks in another deep three on the catch-and-shoot. Mizzou leads 28-23.
Frank gets the steal and eventually gets a wide-open three from the left wing. Mizzou leads
Hansen gets a three to extend the lead to four. Mizzou leads 36-32.
Frank is fouled on the drive. She has an opportunity for two. She makes both and Mizzou leads 38-34.
Troup drives and finds Blackwell on the baseline. Aijha hits the layup and has a chance for an and-one. She makes the free throw. Mizzou leads 41-34.
Blackwell blocks Arkansas’ desperation shot before the half ends. Mizzou leads 41-34 going into the break.
Hansen gets Mizzou on the board first hitting a contested floater. Mizzou leads 43-34.
Frank passes on the three and drives baseline for a layup. Mizzou leads 45-36.
Blackwell is fouled after the pump fake in the post. She makes both of her shots from the stripe. Mizzou leads 47-36.
Troup cuts and gets a wide-open layup off the feed from Frank. Mizzou leads 49-38.
After Amber Ramirez ties the game up with free throws, Mizzou responds with a layup by Williams. Mizzou leads 51-49.
Williams posts up and sneaks by Ellis for a layup. Mizzou leads 54-51.
Frank gets fouled from behind by Sasha Goforth. She hits both of her free throws. Mizzou leads 56-53.
Hansen fakes the three and pulls up for a baseline jumper. Mizzou leads 58-53.
Goforth gets a chance for an and-one on the line and air balls the free throw causing Mizzou Arena to get super happy.
At the end of the third quarter, Arkansas leads Mizzou 62-58.
Frank picks and pops and hits a three for Mizzou’s first points of the fourth quarter. Mizzou trails 61-64.
Troup hits a three at the top of the key. Mizzou trails 64-69.
Frank blocks Langerman on the drive. Ramirez hits a three at the buzzer but it was called a shot clock violation. The refs are going to the monitor to review. Ramirez’s shot counts. Arkansas leads 76-64.
Dembele snaps Arkansas’ run with a three pointer. Mizzou trails 67-83.
Dembele is fouled on the lefty drive. She drains both of her free throws. Mizzou trails 69-84.
Dembele converts another layup. Mizzou trails 71-88.
Final: Arkansas defeats Mizzou 88-71.