It was a lopsided game for the Missouri women's basketball team.
The Tigers' starters played 182 of 200 total minutes, and the limited minutes from the bench led to the team's 79-68 loss Sunday to Northwestern in Evanston, Ill.
Missouri coach Robin Pingeton attributes the 18 minutes and three points from bench players to little practice time. The Tigers (3-4) have started out the season with seven road games in five different venues, accumulating more than 6,300 miles in the past 24 days.
"We lack depth," Pingeton said in a post-game radio interview. "We have to continue to stay on course, and hopefully, as we go through some more practices, we'll be able to find somebody else that's able to step up and contribute for us."
Despite the disadvantages of beginning the first month of play on the road, senior guard RaeShara Brown continued leading the team. She scored a career-high 23 points and had five steals. Brown's four 3-pointers in the second half got the Tigers within four points of Northwestern (7-1).
"I thought Rae did a tremendous job for us," Pingeton said. "I though she just single-handedly put (the game) on her shoulders and said, 'We're not going down without a fight.'"
Brown's contributions were not enough to overcome the play of Northwestern senior center Amy Jaeschke and senior guard Beth Marshall. Jaeschke scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, while Marshall scored 18 points and made 10-of-11 free throws.
"I think (Jaeschke) is the best player that we've gone against," Pingeton said. "She's got a great touch. She sees the court so well."
Missouri had a season-low 11 turnovers in the game, and the Tigers made one more total field goal than the Wildcats. But free throws made the difference in the final score. The Wildcats were 24-for-29 from the free throw line. Missouri was 5-for-6.
"We don't have time to point the finger," Pingeton said. "That's not going to be accepted. We're going to roll up our sleeves and go back to work."
The Tigers will have a chance to regain a .500 record 7 p.m. Tuesday when they host the University of Tennessee-Martin.