Late in the first half, Jasmyn Otote received the ball behind the 3-point line. Oklahoma left her unguarded. She was on her own, deserted by the other nine players on the court for an open look at the basket. But Otote's shot didn't fall through the net.
The Missouri women's basketball team made only four of its 24 attempts from beyond the 3-point line in its 69-47 loss to the No. 14 Sooners today in Norman, Okla. Just 16 percent of its shots hit the mark.
Missouri coach Robin Pingeton looked at the poor shooting in a positive light. She pointed out that the Tigers were down only 31-20 at halftime.
"Offensively, we’re in the game, and we're 1-17 from the 3-point line (in the first half)," Pingeton said in a postgame radio interview. "They're open looks. They're great looks. And we’re not knocking down shots, but we still had a chance in that first half."
The Sooners forced the Tigers to beat them on the inside. This benefited Missouri's 6-foot-2 forward Shakara Jones. The senior scored 12 points, the only Tigers player to reach double figures.
"I thought Shak had one heck of a game," Pingeton said. "I don't think her stat line reflects the kind of game she had whatsoever. The light finally turned on, and things are starting to click for her. I can't think of a better time because we still have some opportunities during this final stretch."
Jones' contributions were not enough to match the bench play from Oklahoma, though. Three players came off the Sooners' bench to add 18 points in the first half. Joanna McFarland subbed in to score a game-high 14 points. Oklahoma's bench ended up outscoring its starters, 40-29.
"I thought we did a decent job of getting the other guys involved," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said in a televised postgame interview.
Missouri remained in the game early in the second half. Jones and senior guard RaeShara Brown combined to grab six offensive rebounds, matching the Sooners' total, to cut Oklahoma's lead to 36-29.
But Brown's eight points and four rebounds were below her usual 16.8 points and 6.2 rebounds per game.
With 10 minutes left in the second half, Brown drove into the lane to put up a shot from close range, but she collided with Oklahoma forward Carlee Roethlisberger. The 6-foot-1 Sooner player fell hard, drawing the foul. The play looked like a hit her older brother, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, might take on the football field.
"Carlee Roethlisberger just continues to do all those things we need her to do: dive on the floor for loose balls, take charges, get rebounds," Coale said. "I'm just really proud of Carlee’s senior leadership."
Carlee Roethlisberger scored five points and snagged four rebounds. But four players reached double figures in scoring for Oklahoma. Morgan Hook and Aaryn Ellenberg both scored 10 points. The inside presence of McFarland and Lyndsey Cloman made the difference in the game, though. Not only did they combine for 24 points, the 6-foot-3 forwards also beat Missouri's Jones and Christine Flores in the paint. They held Flores to five points before she fouled out late in the second half.
"Our post guys did a great job of fighting for location, not letting their post get that position," Coale said. "I was really pleased with our aggression towards the basket."