Tigers pick up first road win in Big 12 play

Saturday, February 28, 2009 | 8:33 p.m. CST; updated 8:38 p.m. CST, Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Missouri women’s basketball team picked up its first Big 12 Conference road win of the season Saturday by defeating Colorado 66-55.

The victory might not mean a lot, but it could at least keep the Tigers from finishing in last place in the conference for a second straight year. With the victory, the Tigers move out of a last place tie with the Buffaloes and into a 10th place tie with Oklahoma State. The win was also the Tigers' first win at Colorado since Feb. 2006.

“I think that’s huge for us,” Missouri coach Cindy Stein said in a phone interview after the game. “We talk about trying to build momentum going into the Big 12 tournament and getting the road win obviously helps us solidify that momentum. And we just want to keep getting better, and we have been getting better, but we haven’t been able to get the win, so it feels good to get over that hump.”

Before the game, Stein talked about the need for her team to get contributions from players up and down her lineup in her pregame radio interview. Sophomore Raeshara Brown stepped up on both ends of the floor for the Tigers. Brown finished with 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting, while grabbing a team-high eight rebounds and making five steals.

“I can’t say enough about Rae’s play defensively,” Stein said in a radio interview after the game. “Because we talked about someone needing to be an X-factor and they’re (her teammates) are calling her ‘X’ in there, so I think she solidified that she came to play today.”

Brown moved into the top 10 for steals in a single season for Missouri with 70, which leads the Big 12.

Junior Jessra Johnson led the Tigers in scoring with 19 points. She also added seven rebounds. Johnson and freshman Christine Flores were suffering from stomach viruses heading into Saturday’s game.

“I thought they just gutted it out,” Stein said by phone. “Both of them being sick, Christine all night and Jessra all day, I mean they just gutted it out. They gave everything they had and did a great job and really performed well considering the conditions. You could tell fatigue-wise it was tough, but we were pleased with their effort.”

The victory improves the Tigers to 13-14 and 4-10 in the Big 12. Colorado falls to 11-15 and 3-11. 

Missouri will play No. 25 Iowa State (20-7, 8-5) in its home finale at 6:30 pm on Tuesday. The Tigers will honor its lone senior, Alyssa Hollins, before the game.

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