The Missouri Tigers were outpaced from start to finish in a 77-55 loss to the Arkansas Razorbacks, dropping them to 14-3 (3-1 SEC) on the season.
‘Twas a defensive start to this matchup, as neither team even eclipsed double-digit points after the first quarter, with the Tigers clinging to a lead, 9-8. Both teams combined to shoot an abysmal 6-34 from the field and shot 1-14 from three-point range. It was bad. On the good side, Missouri out-rebounded Arkansas 8-1 on the offensive boards in the first quarter but had nothing to show for it as they squandered second chance opportunities.
Arkansas started off the second quarter continuing on a 15-0 run to take a 19-9 lead, finally showing an offensive heartbeat. Missouri, on the other hand, was unable to shake off their rust shooting the basketball.
The Tigers finally broke the 15-0 run with a Haley Troup layup giving them their first points in the 2nd quarter with just under three minutes left. However, Arkansas had already found their footing and continued to drain shots and held a commanding 26-14 lead with 1:42 left in the first half.
Of note early was the drought from Mizzou’s usual dynamic duo of Lauren Hansen and Hayley Frank who shot a combined 1-10 from the field in the first half and tallied just three points. Not to worry though, as Haley Troup showed up big in the first half with 12 points on 4-6 shooting including a 75% clip from beyond the arc.
UConn transfer Saylor Poffenbarger was one of the players to watch for the Razorbacks before the game and she proved why in this one as she shot 8-16 from the field and tallied 24 points with a humble 6 rebounds. Poffenbarger’s partner in crime in this bout was Erynn Barnum who shot 9-13 from the field and picked up a double-double with 11 rebounds. In fact, the trio of Poffenbarger, Barnum and Chrissy Carr outscored the entire Tigers’ team 61-55.
Arkansas’ leading scorer, Samara Spencer, was held to 1-5 shooting for only two points so that was a positive for the Tigers defensively, but unfortunately they just couldn’t stop the aforementioned trio. Funnily enough, Poffenbarger’s mom played for Mizzou (thanks for the fun fact, Lauren) so it is bittersweet to see her have the performance she did.
Frank’s lack of production was killer for a Missouri team that usually relies on her to produce at the very least, double digit points, and she sat on just two points at 1-8 shooting with just under two minutes left in the third. However, for the second game in a row it seemed that Frank had a fire lit in her suddenly as she got an and-one bucket with just under a minute left in the third.
After three quarters the score read 51-38 in favor of the Razorbacks, who looked well in control of this game. The Tigers were desperately in need of an offensive outburst to pull this game out, but today that seemed foreign to the Tigers, who shot just 25.5% heading into the final frame.
Missouri was unable to curb the offensive onslaught of the Razorbacks in the final quarter, as the Razorbacks duo of Poffenbarger and Barnum just kept burning the Tigers. There was absolutely nothing the Tigers could do to stop them as Barnum kept getting great inside positioning in the post while Poffenbarger was doing a little bit of everything.
Troup, who hit her career-high and continued to carry the load offensively for the Tigers with her 24 points and 7-11 shooting, but the only other player with double-digit points alongside her was Lauren Hansen with 10. On the postgame radio show,
The final score would finish heavily in favor of the Razorbacks, with a commanding 77-55 victory. The 22 point loss marked Missouri’s largest defeat of the season, and put an abrupt end to the Tigers hot start in SEC Play. However, they still remain in the top part of the SEC standings after they started off the conference slate 3-0.
Statistically, the Tigers got dominated, as Arkansas shot 46.8% from the field while Missouri countered shooting 29%. On the rebounding end Arkansas outrebounded the Tigers 45-37, which is the most rebounds Missouri has allowed this season. On a more positive note, Missouri finished with only 11 turnovers, which is their lowest amount since the Wake Forest game in the Bahamas.
UP NEXT: Missouri will face off against an absolute gauntlet this week, as they take on the 7th ranked LSU Tigers at home on January 12th at 6 PM CST, and follow that with up with a trip to Columbia (L)east to take on the no. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks on Saturday.