COLUMBIA-Searching for positives for the Missouri women’s basketball team this season has not been easy.
On Wednesday, the Tigers had one thing to build on — their defense.
The Tigers defense allowed a mere 37 points against Kansas State. Meanwhile, the Missouri offense set records. But not in a good way. The Tigers lost 37-33 on Wednesday night at Kansas State. The 33 points tied for the program's lowest point total, matching the 33 points the Tigers scored in a loss to Grand View in 1974, the program's first year of existence.
“It was crazy. I think both coaches were a little frustrated,” Missouri coach Cindy Stein said in a radio interview after the game.
The Tigers trailed 16-13 at halftime.
“We’ve got to put the ball in the bucket,” Stein said.
Despite the poor shooting, the Tigers' defense kept the game within reach. Missouri held the Wildcats without a field goal for more than six minutes late in the game, and the Tigers briefly took a 29-28 lead.
“It was a very bruising game,” Stein said about the defensive battle. “It was an amazing game. I was very proud in the way our team fought.”
After taking the lead, the Tigers' offense continued to struggle. With less than 30 seconds left, the Tigers trailed by three points and had a chance to tie. Instead of going for a 3-point basket, Tigers junior RaeShara Brown shot a 2-point field goal with less than five seconds left. The shot missed, and the Tigers lost.
For the second consecutive game, the Tigers' offense has been a problem. In a loss against Iowa State on Saturday, the Tigers offense scored 39 points, while shooting 24 percent. On Wednesday, the Tigers also shot 24 percent from the floor. After the game, Stein said the blame should be placed on her and that she needed to figure out her team's shooting woes.
Jessra Johnson, the Tigers leading scorer this season, was hindered by an illness that had caused her to miss practice the previous three days. Johnson played 15 minutes and scored just three points.
Christine Flores led the Tigers with 11 points, while Taelor Karr led the Wildcats with 10 points.
The Tigers (11-12, 1-9) play No. 3 Nebraska (22-0,9-0) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Mizzou Arena.
“We would like for it to come soon,” Stein said about her team’s offense showing up for a game. “We will probably have to score 80 points against Nebraska.”