Justin Bjorseth, 23 Sports

Friday, January 6—

After winning their SEC opener against Georgia, Mizzou women’s basketball looked to build momentum when they visited No. 24 Kentucky on Thursday night for their first road contest of the young conference season. Entering the game, Missouri had just a 1-3 record on the road, despite boasting a 9-0 record at Mizzou Arena. While Thursday did not posses the end result the Tigers were looking for, as the team lost 64-62, there were certainly a lot of positives to build on moving forward.

The game began with a strong statement from Missouri. Finishing the first quarter on a 13-2 run, the Tigers were able to grab a 15-8 lead.

It looked as though two different teams had taken the court in the second quarter. Behind six 3-pointers, Kentucky went full throttle and took a 34-21 lead into the half, outscoring Mizzou 26-6.

The third quarter was evenly matched, opening the door for a fiery comeback from Mizzou in the fourth. Mizzou was able to cut the deficit to nine points with just under two minutes to go thanks to the Cunningham sisters and Sierra Michaelis heating up from beyond the arc. Forced turnovers, connecting on free throws and another big triple from Michaelis cut the Wildcat lead to just four with 1:15 left. Kentucky responded with a 3-pointer of their own, but the Tigers would not go down quietly. More defensive pressure from Mizzou allowed the Tigers to cut Kentucky’s lead to just three points. Kentucky was poised though, and was able to hit a big free throw with under ten seconds to play that sealed the matchup in the Wildcats’ favor.

A loss is never ideal, but the comeback showed Mizzou’s fight and proved they have the talent to compete with the top tier teams in the SEC. Mizzou’s next test will be at home on Sunday against Alabama.