COLUMBIA — Jasmyn Otote passed the ball in to Sydney Crafton. Crafton took two dribbles, holding the ball away from her body. She looked up the court to find an open pass.
But the lack of concentration was costly.
Texas A&M guard Sydney Colson sprinted to the ball and swiped it out of Crafton's hands. The Missouri turnover led to an easy basket for the Aggies.
"It was our turnovers that led to great opportunities for them," Missouri coach Robin Pingeton said. "I thought that how we handled the ball in the first half, we gotta do a better job. I think we can be stronger with the ball. I think we can be tougher. I think we can execute our press offense better."
Missouri (9-8, 1-2 in Big 12) turned the ball over 18 times in the first half, matching its season average. Missouri committed nine turnovers in the second half for a season-high 27. The Aggies scored 31 points off Missouri turnovers, handing Missouri a 85-40 loss, its worst of the season.
Pingeton showed frustration by burning three of her five timeouts in the first half. The 18 first-half turnovers put her team in a 23-point deficit. Texas A&M (15-1, 3-0 in Big 12) led 40-17 at the half. She only had one timeout left after using the fourth just two minutes into the second half after A&M scored nine straight points.
Missouri guard RaeShara Brown felt the pressure from both her coach and the Aggies. She scored 14 points and snagged six rebounds, both slightly under her season averages.
“It’s no surprise. We’ve known A&M was known for their defense," Brown said. "We felt like every time on offense, we were rushing our shots.”
Rushed shots resulted in a season-low 40 points for Missouri. Freshman Bailey Gee scored six points, the second-most points behind Brown.
Pingeton sensed a lack of will to play.
"On the perimeter, I feel like we had a couple players that weren’t playing with a sense of urgency, with the toughness that they need to be playing with," Pingeton said. "You don’t have a chance if you don’t take that court armored,"
Full-court press equaled turnovers for Aggie coach Gary Blair, which fit right into his game plan.
"The press is set up to make you play faster than what you want to," Blair said. "We want you to have to speed up your offense and play a little bit quicker and try to score one-on-one basketball. We actually turn you over more in the press."
A&M also found success on the inside, grabbing 18 offensive rebounds for second-chance points. Aggie center Danielle Adams scored a game-high 19 points, all but four coming from the paint.
Adams and junior guard Tyra White saw 29 minutes in their return to Missouri. Both are from the Kansas City area.