Since Big 12 Conference play began in 1996, the Missouri women’s basketball team hasn’t had much luck in conference road games.
The Tigers are a 26-81 in those games for a .243 winning percentage. Missouri has just one road win in the Big 12 in the past three seasons. So going on the road against a top-15 team isn’t the best formula for Missouri. Tuesday night looked all too familiar.
The Tigers lost 75-60 to No. 15 Oklahoma State at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, Okla. The game was the third straight for the Tigers against a ranked team. The Tigers played the other two contests at home, losing by one point to No. 11 Oklahoma and beating No. 14 Baylor 70-62 on Saturday.
Playing on the road is a whole different story, though, especially in the Big 12.
“We’ve got to get off to those better starts,” Missouri coach Cindy Stein said in a radio interview before the game.
Against the Cowboys, the Tigers didn’t begin as Stein had hoped. In the first half, the Tigers shot 21 percent from the floor, while the Cowboys shot 50 percent. Oklahoma State led 36-20 at halftime.
The game wasn’t a complete failure for the Tigers. Since being reinstated to the team in late December, senior Amanda Hanneman had struggled with her shooting. Before being suspended, Hanneman was the Tigers' most reliable 3-point shooter, but once she was back in the lineup, nothing was falling. Air balls and shots off the backboard were becoming frequent for her.
But on Tuesday night, Hanneman found her shot again. She made three straight 3-pointers in the second half and five in the game. The barrage of second-half 3-pointers helped key a brief rally that cut the Cowboys' lead to nine points with seven minutes left. That was as close as it got. The Cowboys (17-3, 5-1) then went on a 9-0 run to put the game out of reach.
For the third straight game, the Tigers (11-8, 1-5) starting lineup included Jessra Johnson and Hanneman, the same lineup Stein used earlier in the season. At the moment, Stein likes the way those five are playing together.
“As long as that group continues to work hard, I think it will stay that way,” Stein said.
Cowboys standout Andrea Riley led all scorers with 29 points and Tegan Cunningham scored 24. For the Tigers, Hanneman added 19, while Jessra Johnson scored 13 points and had 10 rebounds.
The Tigers play rival Kansas (11-7, 1-4) at 5 p.m. Saturday at Mizzou Arena.