For the 15th time, Missouri and Illinois will meet in the women’s bragging rights game. After a heartbreaking 51-58 loss two seasons ago at Columbia, the Tigers travel to Champaign to return to the rivalry’s win column. The game is scheduled for 12:00 Central on Big 10 Network +.
The Illini’s currently lead the series 9-5, but since the rivalry returned in the 2017-18 season, Mizzou leads 2-1. Last season they were scheduled to play Champaign, but that was canceled due to COVID-19, so the game is back after a one-year hiatus. Missouri (10-2) are looking to end the non-conference game on a hot streak while Illinois (5-6) are looking to return to the winning column before heading to the conference game.
Illinois is struggling this season, but as basketball fans know, you can never hesitate to face a game. Here are the keys to getting the rivalry dub.
1. Stop perimeter shooting.
Illinois only has three players who are consistent three-point shooters. Top scorer Aaliyah Nye averages 11.7 points per game with 39.4 percent of shots from the perimeter. More than half of her 46 marks come from three, so she’s a primary sniper.
Jada Peebles is averaging 9.4 points per game on 41.2% of three shots, good for the team’s first with a minimum of 30 attempts. Finally, De’Myla Brown is averaging 8.4 points per game with 35% shots. His 14 out of three marks are exactly half of his field goals.
Stopping those three from the perimeter and forcing them to lead will be crucial in stopping any shots the Illini may continue.
2. Limit Illinois rebounds.
Of course, the Illini aren’t the best rebounding team. They only have one player with a double-digit average with the next highest being 3.9. Either way, Kendall Bostic will fight for every rebound. The 6’2 forward is averaging 11.3 rebounds per game, bearing the weight of Illinois. Mizzou versus with Aijha Blackwell and Hayley Frank, great rebounders in their own right, and these two will be there to clean the glass. Blackwell already has eight double doubles on the season so naturally she will help limit Bostic’s ability to crush the boards.
3. Even if the shots don’t fall, shoot them anyway.
Mizzou’s three-point shooting hasn’t been as spectacular as it has been most of the season lately. It’s not that they look bad, though. They had excellent opportunities to sink a three; they just didn’t get in. Knowing Mizzou and how determined and fierce they are, they found other ways to make an impact on the game by getting in and settling for mid-range jump shots.
Even if the shooting range is freezing, the Tigers must take every opportunity to fire their shot. There is a 50/50 chance that he will enter. If no one is open and the shooter is open, they can’t pass up a good look beyond the arc.
The shooters shoot and that’s what Mizzou does best.
The usual starting lineup of Dembele, Hansen, Troup, Blackwell and Frank.
Illinois comes first on the board with a three.
Frank blocks Bostic.
Mizzou steps onto the board with a free throw from Troup.
Illinois leads 8-1 on an Illinois three.
Sara Anastasieska drains a corner three and Mizzou asks for a time out. 11-1 Illini.
Higginbottom misses a corner three, calls his shots and places it for Mizzou’s first basket. Illinois leads 13-3.
Hansen hits a three and it’s now a seven-point game.
Frank hits a blocking foul on the cup and gets free throws. She drains them both. 16-10 Illinois.
Hansen drains a deep three and it’s a three-point game.
With 3.4 seconds to go in the first, Hansen drives and gets a one and one. She ties it to the and-one and it’s 16 at the very end of the first. Mizzou finished the first quarter 15-3.
Illinois register their first turnover of the game after an Illinois push on Dembele.
Blackwell cuts from the top of the key and converts a layup. Mizzou has his first lead, 18-16.
Blackwell drains a three from the top of the key and it’s 21-16 Tigers.
Illinois flips her on a flight from Dembele and she goes coast to coast for a layup. It’s 23-16 Tigers on a 7-0 streak. Illinois calls for a time out.
Troup leads the baseline and gets the layup. 25-18 Tigers.
Frank misses the flip layup but gets the offensive board and converts the layup.
Rubin gets the offensive rebound but Dembele releases it and gets the steal.
Blackwell blocks Rubin’s shot and Frank gets the rebound. It is a double shift and dirty.
The clock stopped for three seconds, sounding the horn at 3:52 and 16 on the shot clock. Troup had the ball and looked super confused. 3:49 and 13 were put on the game and shooting clock.
Some failed shots from Tiger but two offensive rebounds. Smith gets the second and deals it to a wide-open Blackwell on the left wing for a three. Mizzou leads 34-22.
That shot clock was definitely 16. The horn went off and Troup was definitely confused. Game clock frozen at 3:52 a.m. The referees looked at the monitor and took off 3 seconds on the game and shot clock. 13 on the shot lock, 3:49 on the game clock. pic.twitter.com/8bLA4ZJ3dE
– Lauren Rosenberg ️ ✡️ (@ lrosenberg101) 22 December 2021
Frank drains a wide open three and Mizzou leads 37-22 and is on a 10-0 run.
Troup rushes in for the offensive to rebound and ends up on the ground. The ball goes out and Illinois recovers the ball. The shot clock has been reset even though there was no change of possession.
Troup drains a long three and holds his follow up with authority.
At halftime, Mizzou leads 40-26.
The tigers get on the board first to start the third. Hansen to Blackwell for a lob on the lowest. Mizzou leads 42-26.
Frank misses a lay-up but Blackwell sprints to the offensive board and puts it back in place. She is one rebound from another double-double. Mizzou leads 44-28.
Excellent high low action from Dembele to Frank for a layup and an opportunity and a. She converts the free throw and now has 10 points. 48-31 Tigers.
Troup chases a Williams screen. Mizzou leads 50-36.
Blackwell gets his 10th rebound of the game and passes to Williams for a wide open transition layup. Blackwell now has his ninth double-double of the season. Time out taken by Illinois. Mizzou leads 52-36.
Out of the dead time, Illinois puts everything in the hands of Dembele. Blackwell makes a mistake on the other end. Mizzou is now in the bonus. Blackwell made both free throws. Mizzou leads 54-36.
Another fun to keep anyone who can’t watch entertained. Mizzou is penalized for a foul at 4:52. Both teams waited for Illini to arrive but the referees did nothing. They were trying to determine if it was a media timeout. Less than 5 minutes remaining is a media timeout, but the referees could not determine if this was in fact the case. Hope you all enjoyed this little story oops.
Williams is working on the double team and has a layup. Mizzou leads 56-40.
Illinois goes for the two-for-one and the first part works with Nye draining a three.
Mizzou responds on the other end with a three from Hansen. Illinois fails to secure the second half of the two-for-one opportunity.
The Tigers lead the Illini 60-46 at the end of the third.
Very weak point-to-point action from Frank to Williams for the layup. Mizzou enters the chessboard first and leads 62-46.
Williams is called for an offensive foul and Mizzou’s bench is not happy.
Troup misses a three, Frank gets the offensive board, deals it to Hansen for a three that seemed to come in but unfolded, then Williams gets the offensive rebound and finishes. Mizzou leads 66-48.
Troup drives and deals to Frank who opts against the three to lead and trigger a midrange jumper she makes. Mizzou leads 68-50.
Williams pushes his way into the post to secure a layup. Mizzou leads 70-50.
Mizzou led in a wide lane for a left-handed lay-up. Time out on the floor. Mizzou leads 74-54.
Dribbling Higginbottom trains and protects the ball to straighten up for a free throw elbow jumper. Mizzou leads 76-54.
Just like that, Higginbottom gets a wide open look for an easy layup. Illinois ask for a time out with Mizzou leading 78-56.
Pingeton frees his bench with Higginbottom, Dorroh, Linthacums and Kelly in the match.
Sarah Linthacum grabs Kelly’s loose ball and heads for a layup. Mizzou leads 80-61. Additionally, Illinois still have starters in the game.
Higginbottom misses a lay-up but Micah Linthacum is there for the offensive rebound and the takedown. Mizzou leads 82-63.
Higginbottom completely seals the deal with a straight driving layup.
Mizzou defeats Illinois 84-65 to win Bragging Rights match.
Five Tigers end with two digits. Blackwell posted a double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds, Troup recorded 10, Hansen with 14, Frank with 14 points and 6 rebounds and Williams with 13 points and 5 rebounds off the bench.
Mizzou has a short break then takes the no. 1 South Carolina at Mizzou Arena December 30 at 6 p.m. on SEC Network.