Missouri overcomes travel delay vs. UA

By: Paul Boyd
Published: Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Arkansas lost 84-58 to Missouri Monday Feb. 12, 2018 at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.
Photo by J.T. Wampler
Arkansas lost 84-58 to Missouri Monday Feb. 12, 2018 at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Missouri bumped up two spots to No. 13 in The Associated Press women's basketball poll released Monday, and the Tigers backed up that ranking later at Walton Arena.

Missouri made 9 of its first 10 shots, including six three-pointers, en route to an 84-58 victory over the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

The game was originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon but was pushed to Monday evening when Missouri was unable to travel from Columbia because of winter weather.

Missouri Coach Robin Pingeton said her team was focused despite the travel issues. The Tigers didn't get to Northwest Arkansas until 3 p.m. Monday afternoon.

"We had a lot of discussion about the game in general," Pingeton said. "It always makes you really nervous as a coach, but honestly this group that I have this year, they get bored with routine. I know back in my playing days, I needed to be really, really structured but this is a team that doesn't mind shaking it up a little bit.

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"You worry about the flow of your offense because you haven't done much in three or four days. I just said, 'We've got to be mentally tough.' "

The Tigers (20-5, 8-4 SEC) had no problems offensively Monday, making 11 of 15 (73 percent) shots from the floor in the first quarter to grab a 33-14 lead.

Missouri used a 21-2 run and held the Razorbacks (12-13, 3-9) without a field goal for almost six minutes to take command in the first quarter. The Tigers also missed just one shot over the opening 6:14, hitting 9 of 10 from the floor (6 of 7 three-pointers) and 5 of 5 from the free-throw line to lead 29-10.

Bailey Zimmerman's three-pointer pulled Arkansas within 12-8 with 6:43 left in the first quarter, but the Razorbacks didn't manage another field goal until Jailyn Mason's jumper with 53 seconds left in the quarter.

Sophie Cunningham led four Tigers in double figures with a game-high 18 points, including four three-pointers.

Mason led Arkansas with 15 points, while Zimmerman was also in double figures with 14 for the Razorbacks, who have lost eight of their last 10.

Arkansas Coach Mike Neighbors thought his team competed better than it did a month ago in Columbia, even though the score (88-54) was similar.

"Other than that first little spell where we see how potent their offense can be," Neighbors said. "They can hurt you in so many ways offensively and that first five minutes and 24 seconds was about as impressive, I think, we were on pace to give up 186 at one point.

"I thought we locked in after that. I think we took the initial punch. Kids do what this team has done all year, just keep showing back up."

Arkansas travels to Kentucky on Thursday, then returns home for its final two home games of the season against LSU on Sunday afternoon and Texas A&M on Feb. 22.

Sports on 02/13/2018

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