Before the start of Big 12 Conference play, Missouri coach Cindy Stein said that, despite a promising nonconference record, her women's basketball team hadn't accomplished anything until it had proven something in conference play.
That couldn't be done in one game, she said. It hasn't happened in two games either.
Kansas (12-3, 1-1 in the Big 12), one of two teams the Tigers defeated in Big 12 play a year ago, beat Missouri 75-58 on Wednesday night at Allen Fieldhouse.
“I thought we played poorly in almost every aspect," Stein said in a telephone interview after the game. "I thought our kids were ready to play but nothing was going our way. We couldn’t drop open shots, we weren’t getting boards, defensively we weren’t talking. It just seemed like everything was snowballing.”
Missouri (9-6, 0-2 in the Big 12) struggled from the field, shooting 29.5 percent as a team and going 4-for-15 from three-point range.
“We had wide-open looks all night long, we just couldn’t hit anything," Stein said. "It was very frustrating. We were getting some of the looks we needed and in the right people’s hands, but we just could not hit a shot for our life.”
Jessra Johnson, the team's leading scorer entering Wednesday at 13.9 points per game, made just two of her 16 shots and finished with six points.
“She missed layups. She missed shots that she hits every single day," Stein said about Johnson. "That’s where when you have those nights your defense has to always be there, your defense has to be the constant and we did not have that.”
The Jayhawks shot 57.9 percent and made seven of the 11 three-pointers they took.
“I would say it was just lack of focus," Alyssa Hollins said in a phone interview about her team's defensive struggles. "We knew what they were going to do, we knew what to expect and they just executed it, and we didn’t have an answer for it.”
Hollins, who along with Shakara Jones led the Tigers with 14 points, said she couldn't explain the team's poor performance against its biggest rival.
“Everybody was fired up for the game," she said, "you know it’s a heated rivalry between the two schools, but from the jump we kind of got put back on our heels and we never really established ourselves on offense or defense and Kansas was rolling.”
Missouri's next game is against Nebraska at 5 p.m on Saturday at Mizzou Arena.