AMES, Iowa — The Missouri women’s basketball team lost by 26 points at home to Iowa State on Feb. 7. Heading into Saturday night’s game on the road against the Cyclones, the Tigers vowed things would be different this time around.
“We didn’t feel like we showed up last game (against Iowa State),” Missouri coach Cindy Stein said Thursday afternoon. “We want to go in there and feel like if they beat us, they beat the Missouri team we are capable of being.”
“It was a pretty disappointing loss when we played them here,” senior Toy Richbow said on Thursday. “I don’t think we played up to our potential. We just need to go check our mentalities and get pumped up.”
But the second time around was much like the first—disappointing.
No. 12 Iowa State started the game on an 8-0 run and never looked back, defeating Missouri 55-42.
Chelsea Poppens made it look easy all night long. The freshman delivered a dominating performance for the Cyclones, finishing the game with 21 points and 16 rebounds. Senior Alison Lacey finished the game with 17 points and dished out eight assists. With her eight assists, Lacey entered the Iowa State record books. She became the first Cyclone to record 1,500 points, 500 rebounds and 500 assists in a career.
“We knew they were going to look to go inside,” Stein said during a postgame radio interview. “That’s probably my biggest disappointment in the game. We knew they were going to look inside. Unfortunately, we just could not find an answer of somebody matching Poppens’ play.”
Iowa State led by as many as 22 points early in the second half. At that point in the game, Poppens had outscored the entire Missouri team 16-14.
“She’s a very physical player, good athlete,” Stein said.
The first half was a disaster for Missouri. The Tigers could only muster 12 points while shooting 24 percent from the floor and trailed by 18 points at halftime. Missouri’s 12 points set a new record for fewest points scored in the first half of a basketball game in the history of the program.
“We just get ourselves in a hole,” Stein said. “I see some great things out of this team at times. But unfortunately, we have such a rough patch sometimes in that first half. That just puts us in such an incredible hole. It becomes very tough.”
It wasn’t just on the scoreboard though. It was the effort. Missouri was outrebounded 36-23 and only recorded six assists for the game. Iowa State had 16 assists.
Shakara Jones led the Tigers with 11 points and five rebounds.
“I thought Shak did a great job,” Stein said. “Shak just gutted it out today. She’s sick, not feeling well. She just guts it out there. I thought she was a great presence inside. I felt she had some great boards. She was just battling every single moment.”
With the loss, Missouri drops to 11-14 overall and 1-11 in the Big 12. Iowa State improves to 20-5 overall and 8-4 in the conference. Missouri will take on Colorado at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Mizzou Arena.
“We’ve got to make sure we continue to battle and keep our heads up high,” Stein said.