Run N' Shoot: Missouri girls look to push tempo in Saturday's Cl - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Run N' Shoot: Missouri girls look to push tempo in Saturday's Classic

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Missouri head coach Cody Leonard says knocking down shots from the perimeter will be key in Saturday's match-up against Illinois. Missouri head coach Cody Leonard says knocking down shots from the perimeter will be key in Saturday's match-up against Illinois.

QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) --  The Missouri girls hold the advantage in wins when it comes to the all-time record against Illinois in the McDonalds/Herald-Whig Classic.

However, it's no secret that the orange and blue have been dominant in recent years, including winners of two of the last three in the series.

The challenge for this year's group of seniors from the Show-Me-State could be, on paper, the toughest they've seen in a quite while, especially in the paint.

"With me and Megan (Creek) being the tallest girls on the team, we're going to have to get on fire from the outside, because I don't think we're going to get much inside," Missouri forward Megan Hooper told WGEM Sports.

What Missouri lacks in size, they hope to make up for with outside shooting and athletic ability across the board.

"We're going to play to our strengths," Missouri head coach Cody Leonard expressed.

"I told them if we're holding the ball 20 seconds into the shot clock, we're probably wasting too much time. We need to get a shot up as quick as possible, and if you're open let it fly."

"I don't think we need to be afraid of their height," added Missouri guard Evie Miles.

"Clearly they're a lot taller than us, but as long as we run the floor and hit the shots that we take, we should be fine. "

One thing is clear, this team knows the challenge that awaits in less than 24 hours, but intimidation won't be a factor once the ball is in the air.

"Being competitive is part of an athletes nature," said Missouri guard Kaelyn Spratt.

"But having fun, I'll try to keep that in mind when I go into tomorrow's game."

It's an all-star game, and we're going to have fun, but once the competitive juices start flowing, everything will be fine," Leonard added.

"It's a game, we've got a good opponent we're going against, and we're going to see what happens."

The 30th annual McDonalds/Herald-Whig girls match-up tips-off at 5:00 PM on Saturday at Pepsi Arena, followed by the 29th annual boys game.

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