COLUMBIA, Mo. – Mizzou Women’s Basketball handled Arkansas at Mizzou Arena on Thursday night, beating the Razorbacks 71-53. With the win, Mizzou has started SEC play 3-0, marking the best conference start for the Tigers since the 2005-06 season. The Tigers used a hardnosed and gritty formula to extend their win streak to six games, holding the Razorbacks to a season-worst 53 points while outrebounding the Hogs by 17.
Mizzou was led by its frontline, getting a 15-point and 12-rebound double-double from junior forward Amber Smith (Shreveport, La.), while getting 13 points off the bench from sophomore forward Emmanuelle Tahane (Bondy, France), which tied a career-high. Senior guard Sophie Cunningham (Columbia, Mo.) also chipped in with 11 points, moving into sole possession of fourth place on the all-time Mizzou scoring list (1,830 points) with her first made basket of the game, passing Sharon Farrah (1,820 points, 1975-79).
The Tigers entered the second quarter with a six point lead, as Arkansas was able to hang around by forcing the Tigers into some early turnovers. However, in the second frame, Mizzou began to take the ball to the post, and the Razorbacks simply had no answer for the Tigers’ size down low.
In the quarter, Mizzou’s bigs were able to take advantage in a big way, as Tahane, Smith, senior forward Cierra Porter (Columbia, Mo.) and junior forward Hannah Schuchts (Tallahassee, Fla.) all scored at least one basket during a 19-5 Tiger run. Even when initial shots weren’t falling, the Tigers were able to secure offensive rebounds which led to second chance points. Combined with the team’s excellent defensive performance in the quarter, in which they allowed only two made field goals on 15 shot attempts, Mizzou was able to put the game out of reach early.
- With her 11 points tonight, Cunningham has now scored at least 11 points in her last four games. She is averaging 16.3 points over that span.
- Smith, who led the game in both points and rebounds, with 15 and 12, respectively, now has seven double-double in 17 games this season.
- Porter played her best game since returning to the hardwood, chipping in with nine points and seven rebounds.
- Tahane tallied her second 13-point game this season against the Hogs. Her other such performance this season came at Saint Louis (Dec. 9).
- With 11 points, Cunningham has now scored 1,830 career points and moves into fourth place on Mizzou’s all-time career scoring list, surpassing Sharon Farrah (1,820 points, 1975-79). Cunningham also moved into a tie with Sierra Michaelis (2013-17) for third place all-time in career three-pointers made (185).
- Mizzou matched its best conference start in program history, and recorded its best start in conference play since joining the SEC prior to the 2012-13 season. Mizzou is now 3-0 in conference play, a feat which has been accomplished five times prior (1979-80, 1983-84, 1986-87, 1988-89, 2005-06).
- Mizzou shot 50 percent from the field (27-for-54), its third best mark of the season. The Tigers have shot 45 percent during every game of its six-game winning streak.
- Tahane matched a career high with her 13 points, equaling her total from Mizzou’s win over Saint Louis (Dec. 9).
- With her 15 points and 12 rebounds, Smith has now recorded nine career double-doubles. It was her first double-double since recording three consecutive between Dec. 2 and Dec. 9. Smith’s 12 rebounds were one shy of her career best of 13.
- The Tigers held a sizable advantage in the paint, outscoring the Razorbacks, 48-14, in the paint.
Mizzou heads back out onto the road, traveling to Gainesville for a trip with the Gators. That game is set to tip at 2 p.m.
— Mizzou Athletics —