COLUMBIA, Mo.&– Looking to bounce back from its first loss of the season and earn a key win on the road in the SEC, the University of Arkansas women’s basketball team (13-1, 0-1 SEC) travels to face Missouri (12-2, 1-0 SEC) in Columbia, Mo., on Sunday.
The Razorbacks opened SEC play Thursday at home&against a tough opponent in&No. 12/13 South Carolina. Despite trailing by as much as 16 points in the second half, Arkansas battled back, but was ultimately&defeated in a 55-51 loss.&
Missouri enters Sunday’s matchup against Arkansas having won its SEC opener, 86-76, on the road over Ole Miss. Four Tigers scored in double figures in the win, led by Bri Kulas with 26 points and eight rebounds.
Kulas leads Missouri with 17.8 points per game and is also second on the team with 5.9 rebounds a contest so far this season. The 6-1 senior forward was named to the 2013 All-SEC Second Team last season, starting in each of the team’s 32 games&and averaging a&team-leading 13.8 points per game.&
The Tigers are known for their outside game and willingness to take the three-point shot, averaging 10.6 three-pointers&per game. Missouri&is converting&40 percent of&its three-point attempts this season, led by Morgan Eye and her 45.6 percent shooting.&Eye is one of the NCAA’s best three-point shooters, second in the SEC only to Arkansas’ McKenzie Adams (49.2 percent).
"They’re an outstanding basketball team and they do a great job," head coach Tom Collen said of the Tigers. "They have some ups and downs, but on a night when they’re up and making their three-point shots they can compete with anybody&in the country."
On the other side, Arkansas ranks No. 14 in the NCAA in three-point percentage defense, holding opponents to 25.4 percent from distance so far this season.&The Razorbacks also continue to lead the nation in scoring defense for a fifth straight week, allowing opponents just 45.4 points per game through 14 games this season.
Leading scorer Jessica Jackson looks to bounce back offensively for Arkansas, after going just 4-for-18 (3-for-9 3PT)&from the floor Thursday in the team’s loss to South Carolina. Jackson remains the highest-ranking freshman scorer in the SEC&at 14.8 points per game and has&reached double digits in 13 of 14 games this season.
The Razorbacks as a whole look to right the ship&offensively after the team&shot a season-low 26.1 percent in&the loss to the Gamecocks. Arkansas has shot better than 40 percent in 11 games so far this season, which keeps them on pace and in position&to surpass the team doing so 13 times in 32 games last season.
Coach Collen&is 1-5 all-time following a loss in the SEC opener. The Razorbacks bounced back and upset No. 10 Kentucky in Fayetteville, 78-67, during the 2010-11 season after dropping their conference opener on the road to Florida.
Arkansas holds a 7-4 all-time series record over Missouri, including a 3-3 record in Columbia, Mo. The Razorbacks swept the Tigers last season, earning a 58-50 win on the road and a 61-40 victory at home.
"They’ve done a pretty good job of promoting and their crowds are starting to get bigger," Coach Collen said of Mizzou Arena. "We had a great game up there with them last year and found a way to pull it out in the end. We’ve got some experience with them and it’s a rivalry game, as we’ll be playing them twice a year from now on."
Arkansas and Missouri are scheduled to tip off at 2 p.m. inside Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo.
The game will air in Northwest Arkansas on KOSM-FM 92.1; in Rogers on KURM-AM 790; in Fort Smith on KFPW-FM 94.5 and 1230 AM; and in Little Rock on KREB-FM 103.7.
For more information on Arkansas women’s basketball, follow @RazorbackWBB on Twitter.