Mizzou Held Off By Arkansas, 69-66

MUTIGERS.COM <I>Bri Kulas scored 18 points on Sunday and is now averaging 22 points per game in SEC play.</i>
MUTIGERS.COM
Bri Kulas scored 18 points on Sunday and is now averaging 22 points per game in SEC play.
MUTIGERS.COM

Jan. 5, 2014

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COLUMBIA, Mo. - Points were hard to come by as the Mizzou women's basketball team fell to Arkansas, 69-66, on Sunday afternoon (January 5) at Mizzou Arena. The 66 points by the Tigers are the most scored against Arkansas this season, nearly 22 more than Arkansas' national-best average of 44.6 per game. Senior Bri Kulas (Shawnee Mission, Kan.) and junior Morgan Eye (Montrose, Mo.) led Mizzou with 18 points apiece, but Mizzou was unable to slow Arkansas' Jessica Jackson, who finished with a game- and career-high 22 points and eight boards as Arkansas held off the Tigers' late rally. Mizzou falls to 12-3 on the season and 1-1 in SEC play while Arkansas improves to 14-1 and 1-1 in league play.

Eye connected on four 3-pointers in the loss, pushing her career total to 226 as she is now tied for first in school history, matching her with Alyssa Hollins (226 from 2006-09). Mizzou trailed by as many as nine in the first half but stormed back to lead by as many as four in the second half. It was a frenetic second stanza that saw the score change hands eight separate times, but Arkansas took the lead late and held off a torrid run from the Tigers, specifically from Kulas and Eye who poured in points late. Fouls were an issue all day as five Tigers finished the game with four or more fouls, including four starters. Sophomore point guard Lianna Doty (St. Louis, Mo.) added 11 points in the loss while freshman Jordan Frericks (Quincy, Ill.) pitched in seven points and eight boards.

A defensive struggle ensued at the start of the game as the teams shot a combined 5-of-16 from the floor as Arkansas opened a 9-4 lead at the first media timeout. The Tigers missed several layups in that span but cut the lead to just three on a pair of Kulas free throws following the stoppage. Mizzou cut the lead to just four at 17-13, but Arkansas answered with a five-point run with a pair of transition buckets, including a 3-pointer. But a three-point play and a baseline jumper from Eye pulled Mizzou back to within four at 22-18.

The Tigers got a big bucket late in the first half from freshman Kayla McDowell (Cincinnati, Ohio) with the shot clock winding down to cut the lead to 27-24 before the break. Despite shooting just 7-for-26 in the first half (26.9-percent) and 1-for-7 from distance, Mizzou used a perfect 7-for-7 clip from the charity strip to stay within three of the Hogs. Kulas and Eye led Mizzou with seven points each in the first half.

Following the break, Doty extended the Tiger run to 6-0 with a layup and another layup by Frericks gave Mizzou its first lead at 28-27 as it scored eight straight points over nearly four minutes going back to the 2:50 mark the first half. Arkansas regained a one-point lead on the next possession. The score changed hands four times over the next several minutes, but Eye's third 3-pointer of the contest gave Mizzou a 38-34 lead with less than 12 minutes to play.

Arkansas tied the game at 42-all with a clutch 3-pointer at the 8:41 mark from McKenzie Adams off of an inbounds play and then regained the lead with a transition layup on its next possession. Arkansas extended its lead to 48-45 after Mizzou went nearly three minutes without a field goal, but a fast-break layup by Eye cut the lead to just one at 48-47. The Razorbacks then held off a furious Tiger run at the end of the game to preserve the 69-66 win.

For all the latest on Mizzou women's basketball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team @MizzouWBB.

 

 

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