Missouri earns another SEC win, dominates post-performance against Arkansas

Missouri used 48 points in the paint to down the Razorbacks and stay perfect in the SEC.

Senior Sophie Cunningham had the ball in the corner and knocked down a three point field goal with 1:10 to go in the third quarter. It was the first made three of the game for the Tigers, who usually average eight makes from distance per game.

While the end result was still a win, Missouri (14-3, 3-0) used a much different game plan in its win against Arkansas (12-5, 1-2). The win kept Missouri perfect in the SEC, its best start in program history.

The Tigers’ defense slowed down the Razorbacks early, as Arkansas was held to 9 points in the first quarter and just 5 in the second. Meanwhile, Missouri’s offense was relentless, scoring 15 and 19 respectively.

Arkansas shot a mere 18 percent from the field in the first half compared to a 43 percent clip put up by the Tigers. Contrary to recent games, Missouri shot poorly from behind the arc, going 0-4. Instead, the Tigers made their living in the paint by scoring 28 points in that area in the half.

Sophomore forward Emmanuelle Tahane was a major benefactor of that formula, scoring 9 points in the half to go along with five rebounds. Junior Amber Smith had 8 points and seven rebounds in the half.

She ended up recording her seventh double-double of the season by scoring 15 points and 12 rebounds. She also lead the team with three assists. Behind her, Tahane had 13 points and Cunningham totaled 11 points.

Cunningham was slowed a bit by the Razorbacks in this contest. She had been averaging 18 points per game in the previous five games. While she didn’t score her season average, she did have seven rebounds and two assists in 29 minutes.

Overall, Missouri shot 50 percent from the field, 20 percent from behind the arc and 88 percent from the charity stripe. It ended up scoring 48 points in the paint, compared to just 14 points of the Razorbacks. Missouri’s post addition senior Cierra Porter had the best night of her young season.

Porter played 13 minutes, scoring 9 points and grabbing seven rebounds, both personal season highs. Porter also went a perfect 3-3 from the free throw line.

Two major blemishes on the Missouri stat line were turning the ball over 17 times and allowing the Razorbacks to hit 9 threes. Arkansas, however, scored just 8 points off of those turnovers. The Razorbacks also just shot 30 percent from the field, proving the three point makes irrelevant.

Missouri will move on to the road on Sunday, Jan. 13 to play Florida. That game is slated to tip-off at 2 p.m. CST.

Edited by Emily Leiker | eleiker@themaneater.com

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