COLUMBIA — When the bus driver took a detour on the way to the airport after the Missouri women's basketball team's victory at Colorado on Saturday, savvy junior forward Marissa Scott thought she knew what was going on.
“We really thought we were searching for ice cream," Scott said with exaggerated seriousness at Monday's practice. "I don’t know if he was lost, or if we really were searching or what the deal was, but I know that that was not the route that we took to get from the airport to where we were.”
No. 24 Iowa State (21-7, 9-5 in the Big 12)
at Missouri (13-14, 4-10)
WHEN: 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Mizzou Arena
LAST TIME: Missouri lost 65-42 at Iowa State
RADIO: KFRU/1400 AM
The win over the Buffaloes was Missouri's first Big 12 Conference victory as the visiting team since Feb. 17, 2007. If there was ever a time for one of coach Cindy Stein's traditional sweet rewards, Scott was sure this was it, even when the bus ended up in a Walgreen's parking lot by mistake.
Teammate RaeShara Brown said she was far less concerned about the 25-minute excursion through Boulder, Colo.
"Actually, I wasn’t even paying attention," Brown said. "I looked up, and we were just driving around. I know we ended up in the Target parking lot one time. We ended up in the middle of some clothes shopping mart. I don’t know what we were doing.”
It turns out the driver was actually trying to find a Dairy Queen, but as far as anyone could tell, he wound up with the address of the owner of one of the ice cream franchises, instead of the business itself. Eventually the effort was abandoned and the team returned to the airport.
According to Scott, this just means the number of treats Stein owes the team has grown by one.
To provide some fun for the team, at the end of practice, Stein occasionally gives the players the chance to shoot half-court baskets to earn sweets, and road wins usually automatically qualify the Tigers for the reward. By Scott's count, they have earned more treats than they have received.
Scott said the players "always puts it out there" for Stein to hear, but apparently Brown does not join the chorus.
“This is nothing that concerns me," Brown said with a smile and a slight shake of her head. "Whenever we do that, that’s just for fun, something to give the team to laugh about, but I don’t harp on the dessert thing or whatever.”
Brown said she was just happy to get to enjoy the ride home thanks to the victory.
“Coach is way more lenient" Brown explained. "You know, when you lose, (there's) no talking, you're just sitting there and you’re thinking, 'I can’t wait until I get home. I want to get away from this atmosphere. We lost.'"
An extra bonus to the post-win bus ride is the rest.
"You can sit there and you can sleep easy, too," Brown said.
SENIOR NIGHT FOR HOLLINS: The Tigers (13-14, 4-10 in the Big 12) return home Tuesday night to play No. 24 Iowa State (21-7, 9-5 in the Big 12) at 6:30 p.m. at Mizzou Arena. Missouri lost to Iowa State 65-42 earlier this season on the road.
Alyssa Hollins will be honored during the senior night festivities before the game. Hollins, Missouri's only senior, is second on the team in scoring, averaging 13 points a game.