Sarah Bush, 23 Sports

COLUMBIA- The University of Missouri women’s basketball team tips off its first home game today against Missouri State. The No. 16 Tigers are 1-0 on the season with a win over the Western Illinois Leathernecks. Missouri State lost its first game 63-60 to the Wichita State Shockers, so the Bears will look to redeem themselves in Columbia today.

Alexa Willard, a standout junior for Missouri State, had 21 points against Wichita State, and will look to give Mizzou’s defense some trouble. Junior guard Shameka Ealy had 11 points and 9 rebounds for the Bears in their previous game. Nine of her 11 points came from behind the arc, so the key to shutting her down for the Tiger defense is to minimize open shots.

The Mizzou offense looks to keep the ball rolling after its 25-point win over Western Illinois. In that game, Missouri had a double digit lead after the first quarter at 18-8 and never looked back. Although the Leathernecks outscored the Tigers by two points in the second quarter, Mizzou outscored WIU by nine in the third quarter and eight in the fourth to take home a wire to wire victory. Tiger star Sophie Cunningham dominated the Leathernecks, scoring 31 points on 12-20 shooting. Amber Smith also had a big game for the Tigers, contributing a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Tip-off for tonight’s matchup is at 7 PM at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers hope to move onto 2-0 with a big win at home. Last year the Tigers beat the Bears in Springfield by the score of 69-59.