Like it or not, Missouri and Arkansas continue to be pitted against one another as Southeastern Conference rivals in various sports, and women’s basketball is no exception.
The matchup’s latest installment, set for Sunday in Fayetteville, Arkansas, could end in a transition of power in the rivalry.
Missouri has won seven straight against Arkansas, taking a 12-11 lead in the programs’ all-time series with a victory last February. Since then, however, these two teams have been moving in opposite directions. Arkansas enters Sunday’s game ranked as the No. 21 team in the country, while Missouri is still trying to find its way amidst a 4-12 start.
The Razorbacks can set the all-time record back in their favor with wins Sunday and Feb. 2 in Columbia.
Both teams began SEC play with just one win in their first three games, but Arkansas looked more than capable in single-digit losses against No. 10 Texas A&M and No. 4 South Carolina. Alexis Tolefree, Amber Ramirez and Chelsea Dungee are all among the top 10 individual scorers in the conference, and Arkansas leads the league with an average of 85.9 points per game as a team.
Missouri has shown flashes of its own lately, competing with No. 23 Tennessee for much of what became an 11-point loss and defeating Louisiana State at Mizzou Arena last Sunday. But the Tigers have yet to put in a complete performance against a team of Arkansas’ caliber.
Missouri will need big contributions from its top freshmen, Aijha Blackwell and Hayley Frank, to keep up with Arkansas’ high-scoring pace. The Tigers have only scored as many as 85 points twice, both in overtime contests.
Both teams are capable of putting on a show from deep. Missouri is third in the SEC with 7.9 3-pointers per game, while Tolefree and Ramirez are both among the nation’s top 25 in 3-point percentage. Seniors Jordan Roundtree, Jordan Chavis and Hannah Schuchts each could help Missouri’s offensive load by lighting it up from beyond the arc.
Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. Sunday on the SEC Network. Missouri’s radio broadcast will air on KTGR.