The negative attitudes were easy to diagnose. It has been a rough week.
But, just two days after she announced she would be stepping down as the team's coach, Cindy Stein isn't about to let the Missouri women's basketball team stay that way.
The Tigers played anything but inspired basketball for their coach Wednesday night and suffered a 60-41 loss to No. 18 Texas in Austin, Texas. Missouri has never won at Frank Erwin Center. The Tigers fell to 1-18 against the Longhorns in the all-time series.
“They’ve always got to find hope,” Stein said during a postgame radio interview. “They’ve got to stay on the positive. They can’t let factors turn into negatives. This team is very down right now. We’ve got to find a way to kick it up another notch.”
Senior Brittainey Raven led the Longhorns with 13 points and five rebounds. Shakara Jones and Jessra Johnson recorded 10 points apiece for Missouri.
The shortcomings that have plagued Missouri all season were the weaknesses the Tigers displayed Wednesday. The poor rebounding. The cold shooting. The suspect defense. Missouri was outrebounded by 11. The Tigers shot just 32 percent from the field, including 7 percent from 3-point range.
“There were some moments where we just gave up too quick,” Stein said. “Things wouldn’t go our way and you just seem them hang their heads. As I told them, they can still do something. It’s going to be up to them. They’ve got to be accountable. We can’t keep making the same mistakes.”
The Longhorns pressured the Tigers all night, often employing either a full-court press or a halfcourt trapping zone. Missouri turned the ball over 18 times.
“They’re just a great defensive team,” Stein said. “And they’re getting a lot of turnovers from the other team, and they’re scoring on those turnovers.”
After trailing by 14 points at halftime, Missouri opened the second half on a 12-4 run to cut the deficit to six. That’s as close as the Tigers would get. Texas went on a 12-4 run of its own to put the game out of reach.
“We started off real well in the second half,” Stein said. “Getting it inside, getting some good scores. But then we couldn’t hit an outside shot…we just could not find a shooter from the perimeter.”
Missouri men’s basketball coach Mike Anderson was in attendance to see his daughter, Yvonne Anderson, score 9 points and grab four rebounds for the Longhorns.
Missouri (11-17, 1-14 Big 12) could face Texas (20-9, 9-6) in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament that starts next Thursday.
The Tigers play their final game of the regular season against Texas Tech at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mizzou Arena.