Ben Clanin, 23 Sports.

The No. 15 Missouri Tigers women’s basketball faced off against No. 2 Mississippi State in a top 15 matchup on Thursday night at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers, fresh off a heated loss to South Carolina, returned home to take on their second top ten ranked opponent in less than a week. Mizzou came up just short against the Bulldogs in a neck and neck contest that ended with a score of 57-53.

Mizzou’s top performers were junior Sophie Cunningham, who dropped 20 points in the contest against the Bulldogs, going 8-14 from the field. Cunningham’s 20 point performance also shot her to number 12 on Mizzou’s all-time scorer list, surpassing Morgan Eye. Other mentionable Tigers were Lauren Aldridge who had a season high nine points from behind the arc, Amber Smith and Jordan Frericks pulled down nine rebounds apiece. Mizzou was able to maintain a lead throughout the first half, and went into the break with a nine-point lead over Mississippi State, which is the largest lead that any team has had at the halfway mark against the Bulldogs this season. It was only the second time this year that Mississippi State trailed while heading into the break. Mizzou’s defense also played a strong game for the most part, despite lapsing a bit late in the game. The score was all tied up 47-47 with just under four minutes left to play in the game before Bulldogs closed out on a 10-6 run, thanks in large part to six points coming from the charity stripe.

Despite the loss, Mizzou held the Bulldogs to their lowest point total of the season at 57. In addition to that, the Mizzou defense held Mississippi State to just 14 points in the first quarter, which was another season low for the Bulldogs. Mizzou also showed off their size advantage down low, outrebounding Mississippi State 39-36.

Mizzou will stay at home for their next couple games, welcoming Florida on Feb. 5 and then the Kentucky Wildcats on Feb. 8.