Missouri looks to get back in the win column while Arkansas looks to start a win streak.
After a tumultuous loss against No. 13 Tennessee on Thursday, Mizzou returns home to face the Arkansas Razorbacks today at 2 pm on SECN+.
Arkansas is coming off a stellar win against Auburn where they defeated the Tigers 68-66 courtesy of an Amber Ramirez buzzer beater. Mizzou is looking to get over the 78-62 loss against Tennessee in their Pink Game. For a detailed account of the last game, check out my takeaways . post.
The last time these teams faced off was at the beginning of SEC play in January where Arkansas came out with the 83-73 win in Fayetteville. Mizzou had a good shooting game but was plagued with a turnover bug. Arkansas used Mizzou’s turnovers to their advantage and scored 13 points off them.
Both teams are different than what they were over a month ago, though. Mizzou is looking to defeat Arkansas and shatter their five game Missouri winning streak. Here are the keys to the game.
1. Limit turnovers at all costs.
I really can’t keep track of how many times I’ve written this exact key in the past, but it’s been a ton. When Mizzou limits their turnovers, it has been fruitful. However, there have also been games where the Tigers turned it over 20+ times and it led to disaster, unsurprisingly.
In their first meet up, Mizzou turned the ball over 13 times, compared to Arkansas’ two. 13 turnovers is not an alarming number in Mizzou terms, and Coach Pingeton always aims for her team to stay between the 10-12 mark.
The more pressing issue is Mizzou’s inability to keep up with opponents in transition after committing turnovers. It doesn’t matter how well you’re shooting, if Mizzou can’t limit their turnovers, it will be another messy game.
2. Play tough coming out of the half.
I have no doubt in my mind Mizzou is extremely motivated after the horrific third quarter mess against Tennessee. They ended the game outscoring Tennessee 29-18 in the fourth quarter. That fourth quarter display is definitely a sign that the Tigers can overcome terrible third quarters. It’s just a matter of if it’s too late.
No matter if the Tigers are in the lead or trailing at the half, Mizzou has no choice but to come out of the locker room running. This season, Mizzou’s done pretty well in limiting the third quarter bug and often played their best game in that quarter. Recently, though, that hasn’t been the case. With their current trend, Mizzou’s game in the third quarter will more than likely be the deciding factor in this game.
3. Use more of the bench than last time.
In the previous meeting, Coach P didn’t use her bench to the extent people (i.e. me) probably wanted her to. The most shocking part was when LaDazhia Williams left the game after 11 minutes with an injury, Coach P didn’t go to Jayla Kelly to fill in the void at all. (note: I’m not one to judge rotation moves because I am not the coach, but I’m simply giving my take. This was odd.)
Thankfully, Williams is back and playing extremely well as of late. Coach P is also going to her bench a lot more than a month ago. Against Tennessee, t was primarily because they were getting blown out and needed a spark. If Coach P decides to utilize her bench, especially when the starters look gassed and the team needs a spark, it can end up as a huge benefit. It means more rest for the starters during the game and a fresh pair of legs to keep up with the Razorbacks’ quick guards.