Winning on the road is never easy for a college basketball team. Long bus or plane rides, not getting to sleep in one’s own bed and getting used to opposing teams' gyms are just a few of the factors that makes things difficult.
Winning on the road in the Big 12 Conference is a whole different story. Not only does a team have to deal with the usual factors, but they also have the task of facing a tough opponent — the conference has seven ranked teams.
In 2007-08, the Missouri women's basketball team did not win a road game in Big 12 play. Last season, the Tigers won only once in conference play on the road in a game at Colorado. This season, after rolling through nonconference play with a 10-3 record, the Tigers began conference play against a Colorado team picked to finish second to last in the Big 12 coaches preseason poll. If the Tigers were to steal a game on the road, beating the Buffaloes would be the time to do it. On Saturday afternoon at Colorado, the Tigers might have shown why the coaches picked them to finish last in the conference, dropping their first Big 12 game this season 64-48.
Throughout Saturday’s game, Missouri failed to get anything going offensively. The Tigers went 0-for-7 in the first half from 3-point range and trailed 32-15 at the break. Missouri shot 19 percent in the half.
“Things just haven’t gone our way,” coach Cindy Stein said in halftime interview on Fox Sports Midwest.
Colorado junior Brittany Spears, who has scored more than 1,200 points in her college career, scored 16 points to lead all scorers. Colorado forced 16 turnovers, while Colorado freshman Chucky Jeffery had five steals. Colorado forced a number of uncharacteristic turnovers from Toy Richbow and Shakara Jones.
“We do need to have a little more patience on the offensive side,” Stein said.
Jones led the Tigers (10-4) with 15 points. The Tigers second-leading scorer this season, senior Amanda Hanneman, did not score in the game. She shot 0-for-7 from the field.
In the second half, the Tigers closed the gap to just three points with five minutes left. However, Colorado answered with a 17-4 run to close the game.
For the Tigers, the road does not get any easier. Missouri will face Kansas State at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at Mizzou Arena. The Wildcats defeated No. 24 Kansas 59-35 on Saturday.