RaeShara Brown made a jump shot to put the Missouri women’s basketball team up 45-35 with 11:31 to play. The Tigers didn’t make a field goal for the next 11 minutes.
Missouri shot just 19 percent in the second half and committed a season-high 26 turnovers in a 63-56 loss to Texas Tech on Wednesday in Lubbock, Texas. The Tigers fall to 9-7 on the season and 1-1 in Big 12 play.
“Offensively, I think our inexperience was really revealed tonight,” coach Robin Pingeton said in a postgame radio interview. “Honestly, in my 20 years of coaching, I don’t know if I’ve seen anything quite like it, where you just get so puckered up and don’t want the ball.”
RaeShara Brown and Christine Flores are usually the catalysts of the Missouri offense. Both came into the game averaging more than 16 points per game, combining for more than half of Missouri’s points this season. Neither played well on Wednesday.
Flores was 0-of-11 from the field with six points, but pulled down 10 rebounds. Brown scored a season-low nine points and committed 11 turnovers.
“Rae is a veteran ballplayer that probably feels like she’s got to shoulder the team a little bit,” Pingeton said. “Even out of the gate she tried to make things happen instead of keeping it simple.”
The Tigers didn’t play poorly all game. They jumped out to an 11-2 lead less than five minutes in, highlighted by two 3-pointers by Jasmyn Otote, who hit four threes for the second straight game after a terrible start to the season from beyond the arc.
With only three combined points from Flores and Brown in the first half, Missouri still went into halftime with a 38-26 lead thanks to 10 first half points from Shakara Jones, nine by Otote and seven off the bench from BreAnna Brock.
The Tigers continued to play well in the second half and maintained a double-digit lead for the first 10 minutes of the half. Free throws allowed Missouri to cling to its lead for most of the half, but Texas Tech finally took a 51-50 lead with three minutes to play. The crowd started to make its presence felt, showing why Missouri has never won a game in Lubbock. Six straight points over the next two minutes put the game out of reach.
“I felt like we played about 30 minutes of good basketball tonight,” Pingeton said. “After that we just got away from the game plan.”
Texas Tech (15-1, 2-0) shot just 32 percent from the field. Leading scorer Kierra Mallard was held to just seven points on 3-of-12 shooting. But sophomore Chynna Brown provided a spark for the Red Raiders off the bench, scoring a career-high 22 points. Jones and Otote led Missouri with 12 points each.
Despite going ice cold from the field in the second half, it was turnovers caused by the Red Raiders' pressure defense that cost Missouri the game.
“Unacceptbale,” Pingeton said of her team’s sloppy play. “You can’t win any games playing like that. We’re better than that.”
As bad as the Tigers played at the end of the game, the worst part may have came in the final seconds.
With the Tigers trailing 55-50, Flores fouled Chynna Brown to stop the clock with 33 seconds to play. Flores left the game in agony with an injury to a finger on her right hand.
“It’s too early to tell,” Pingeton said about the extent of Flores’ injury. “My gut is it’s probably broke.”