Arkansas women open tough road trip

By: Paul Boyd
Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018
Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors directs his players against Abilene Christian Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, during the second half in Bud Walton Arena.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas coach Mike Neighbors directs his players against Abilene Christian Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017, during the second half in Bud Walton Arena.

Arkansas women's basketball coach Mike Neighbors didn't have a reason why his team had so little energy in Thursday's loss to Florida, but the Razorbacks will need to put that behind them quickly.

They face a pair of stout opponents on the road, beginning with No. 11 Missouri at 4 p.m. today in Mizzou Arena. That's followed by a trip to No. 10 South Carolina on Thursday.

Today’s Ticket

Arkansas women at Missouri

WHEN 4 p.m.

WHERE Mizzou Arena, Columbia, Mo.

RECORDS Arkansas 11-8, 2-4; Missouri 16-2, 4-1.

RADIO KABZ-FM 103.7 in Little Rock; KQSM-FM 92.1 in Fayetteville; KFPW-AM 1230 and KFPW-FM 94.5 in Fort Smith; KURM-AM 790 and KURM-FM 100.3 in Rogers.

ONLINE ArkansasRazorbacks.com

TELEVISION SEC Network.

CHALK TALK Arkansas guard Malica Monk leads the Razorbacks, averaging 16.7 points per game to go with four assists and almost a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. She was the Razorbacks’ only player in double figures in Thursday’s loss to Florida. Today’s game is Missouri’s We Back Pat game, raising awareness for Alzheimer’s disease and the Pat Summitt Foundation. Missouri has four players averaging in double figures in scoring led by senior Sophie Cunningham’s 18.1 points per game. The Tigers have dominated the boards, outrebounding opponents by an average of more than 10 per game. That difference is more than 11 per game in Southeastern Conference play. Missouri jumped to a 20-2 lead and cruised to a 67-48 win over Ole Miss on Thursday. The Tigers shared the ball well with 24 assists and 25 made field goals.

Arkansas (11-8, 2-4 Southeastern Conference) never led in the 65-51 loss to the Gators. It also played without senior Devin Cosper, who was sidelined with an ankle injury. The Razorbacks will likely be without her for today's game, too, Neighbors said. He said the Razorbacks' poor energy started during preparation for the Florida game.

"I don't know if it's because it's cold outside. I don't know if it's because we're missing Dev. I don't know if it's because we had a disjointed shoot-around (Thursday)," Neighbors said. "There was a lot of excuses you could make, but the only reason is we came out with that.

Junior Malica Monk did all she could to keep Arkansas close, finishing with a game-high 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists in 39 minutes of play. But now the Razorbacks face Missouri (16-2, 4-1), who is in a three-way tie for second in the SEC and off to its best start in school history after 18 games.

Cosper's status is still day to day, Neighbors said. The 5-10 swing player averages 15.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game, which ranks second on the team in both categories.

In this situation, Neighbors also said he may consider slowing the pace a bit.

"I've probably got to be a little less stubborn," Neighbors said. "Maybe we need to play a little fewer possessions. I'm still up there yelling 'Go, go, go.' I let Jailyn (Mason) take the point some, but I didn't take Mal out. Maybe I should let us walk the ball up the floor a little bit. It's something we'll look at."

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