Interrupting a question about the way her team played at the start of its game against Oklahoma State on Wednesday night, Missouri women's basketball coach Cindy Stein asked a question of her own.
“It was painful wasn’t it?" she said rhetorically.
The Tigers, who trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half, did not score their 10th point in the second half until the 8:27 mark and lost 68-60.
“Obviously when you watch them get up and down the floor and it looks like they’ve all got a piano on their back you know something’s missing and you’ve got to fight through it and I didn’t see our kids fighting through then," Stein said.
With the loss, Missouri fell to 1-5 in Big 12 play and 10-9 overall, and an agitated Stein promised changes.
“There will probably be a change in our lineup," she said. "I’m not very happy with some of our play and our consistency, so we’ll find kids that are ready to roll every night with a lot of energy. That’s kind of where we are.”
Alyssa Hollins, who finished with 17 points, gave her idea for how the change the team's mindset.
“A win would shake things up," Hollins said. "You’ve got to stay positive. It’s a long season. It’s long Big 12 season and all the teams are so talented, there’s no gimmes. We would love a gimme, but there aren’t any.”
Although Stein said she felt Missouri lost the game in the first half, the Tigers twice pulled within five points in the second half only to see the Cowgirls extend the lead to double digits again.
“We can’t keep digging these holes for ourselves and then continue to try to get out of them," Stein said. "We’ve got to build a mountain.”
Oklahoma State (13-5, 2-3 in the Big 12) also entered the game with just one Big 12 victory, leading Cowgirl coach Kurt Budke to say that he felt the game had been a must-win for both teams.
It may have been even more important for the Tigers because their conference schedule only gets more difficult. Next up for Missouri is a road game at No. 2 Oklahoma at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Sooners won at No. 4 Baylor 56-51 Wednesday night.
After that, three of Missouri's next four games are against Baylor and No. 14 Kansas St (18-1, 5-1 in the Big 12).
“There’s not a lot of things to say," Stein said, "but I couldn’t find a way to inspire our team, and obviously I’ve got to find a trigger to get them up and moving a lot harder."
For more coverage of the Missouri women's and men's basketball teams from the Missourian, visit the MizzouHoops blog.