Hollins can't rescue MU women's basketball team

Thursday, February 21, 2008 | 10:11 p.m. CST; updated 9:05 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008
Missouri's Alyssa Hollins fights Kansas State's Danielle Zanotti for a layup at Mizzou Arena on Sunday. The Tigers lost 56-40.

In a season filled with growing pains for much of the Missouri women’s basketball team roster, junior guard Alyssa Hollins has made a strong case to be named an All-Big 12 Conference player with steady scoring, especially from beyond the 3-point line. She added another line to her resume on Thursday when she put in four 3-pointers to break the Missouri single-season 3-point record and the school’s career record.

Hollins’ banner night wasn’t enough to stop the Tigers’ losing skid. They dropped their 10th straight 73-57 to Nebraska and lost for the first time since 2000 in Lincoln.

Hollins got off to a hot start making three 3-pointers in the first 4:24 of the game, capped by the record-setting three with 15:36 to play in the half. Hollins made four of six 3-pointers in the half and led all scorers with 14 points before intermission.

She wasn’t the only player on fire from beyond the arc in the first half, though. The Tigers went 7-for-10 on 3-pointes in the first half, but they were ice cold from inside the arc, making only three of 19 2-pointers. Missouri coach Cindy Stein said she was pleased to see shooters other than Hollins get involved in the first half.

“When we pushed the ball up in transition, I thought we did a really good job of getting some really good, easy looks in that with Jas (freshman guard Jasmyn Otote) and Amanda (sophomore forward Amanda Hanneman),” Stein said after the game in a radio interview.

The hot 3-point shooting let the Tigers (8-17, 1-11 Big 12) hang with the Huskers in the first half, but Missouri made just one of four 3-pointers and 12 of 29 shots overall in the second half.

Nebraska (18-8, 7-5) took advantage and blew the game open with a 21-8 run to start the second half that gave the Huskers a 19-point lead.

The Tigers couldn’t handle Huskers senior forward Danielle Page and junior forward Kelsey Griffin down low. They combined to score 46 points on 15-for-27 shooting and grab 20 rebounds to lead Nebraska.

“We’re a little bit inexperienced there,” Stein said. “They’ve got incredible moves, there’s only so much you can do when you’re just trying to stay in position.”

Even though the Tigers suffered their third straight double-digit loss and 10th loss in a row overall, Stein said she saw improvement on Thursday. She was especially pleased with the job her players did of making strong cuts to the basket.

“I feel like I’m seeing some good things out of us,” Stein said. “We’re not satisfied, obviously, with losing, but I feel like every game there’s been a positive to come out of it.”

The Tigers will play next when they host Kansas on Sunday.

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