Jan. 13, 2013
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COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Mizzou women's basketball team fell to 12-5 on the season and 1-3 in SEC play after losing to No. 6 Kentucky, 69-43, on Sunday afternoon (Jan. 13) at Mizzou Arena. The loss snapped an 11-game home winning streak for the Tigers, which was their best home start since 2005-06. Sydney Crafton (Jefferson City, Mo.) led Mizzou with 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting on the day.
Aside from Crafton, junior Bri Kulas (Shawnee Mission, Kan.) gave Mizzou a lift, scoring nine points in the loss, while center Liz Smith (Overland Park, Kan.) added eight more points. In fact, Kulas, Smith and Crafton were a big reason why, that despite a glaring height differential, Mizzou tied UK in the paint points, 24-24, on Sunday. The Tigers played good team basketball again on Sunday, assisting on 12 of 18 field goals, led by seven dimes from freshman point guard Lianna Doty (St. Louis, Mo.), just one off of her career-high.
UK had three players score in double-figures on Sunday, led by 17 from DeNesha Stallworth. A'Dia Mathies added 14 points and point guard Jennifer O'Neill added 11 more. Mizzou held UK to just 38.8-percent shooting in the loss, but UK hit all 12 of its free throws and out-rebounded the Tigers, 40-37. The UK bench also outscored the Tiger bench, 16-6, and the Wildcats had 16 second-chance points while the Tigers had just five.
At the first media timeout, Kentucky's defense was stifling as they limited Mizzou to just 1-of-7 shooting while running out to an 8-2 lead. The Tigers only bucket in that span came on a great layup by Doty off of a great entry pass by Crafton. Conversely, Kentucky was shooting 4-of-7 to open the game.
Following the stoppage, Mizzou's defense was much better, forcing Kentucky to miss its next three shots until a 3-pointer from Mathies extended the lead to 11-2. UK extended its lead to 23-4 until a 9-0 run by the Tigers got them back into the game. Crafton had six of those nine points while Kulas had the other on a deep 3-pointer. Mizzou forced three UK turnovers in that span.
Crafton continued to keep the Tigers in the game, scoring eight of the Tigers' first 15 points and Mizzou, despite its poor start, had three chances to cut the lead to single digits but came up empty on each trip. UK's DeNesha Stallworth then hit a pair of free throws as the Wildcats re-opened a 12-point lead at 27-15. The score stayed that way for some time as Mizzou locked it down defensively. Doty came away with a steal and layup to cut the lead back to 10 points and Mizzou again had two chances to cut the lead to single digits and couldn't get the job done and Kentucky then scored a pair of buckets before the half to take a 14-point lead into the break. The two field goals for UK ended a streak of eight minutes without a field goal for UK.
Coming out of intermission, Mizzou tried to keep things close but just couldn't hang with UK which locked down on defense again. In fact, Mizzou had just 16 second-half points through the first 15 minutes of play as UK opened a 58-37 lead. After committing nine first half turnovers, Kentucky committed just two in the second half as it took control of the game and pulled away with the 69-43 win.
Mizzou will be back in action on Jan. 20 as it head to Ole Miss for a 2 p.m. game with the Rebels. For all the latest on Mizzou women's basketball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team on twitter @MissouriWBB.