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Columbia Missourian

Missouri women's basketball team loses final regular season game

By Matt Beezley
March 3, 2012 | 9:37 p.m. CST

Freshman Kyley Simmons again proved she is more than a pass-first point guard Saturday night in the Missouri women's basketball team's final regular season game.

Simmons is the most efficient 3-point shooter in the Big 12 Conference at 49 percent and made her most impressive shot of the season as time expired in the first half of the Missouri women's basketball team's 68-47 loss to Oklahoma State in Stillwater, Okla.

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After Oklahoma State committed an offensive foul with four seconds left, Simmons sprinted down the court and released a shot from halfcourt that found its way to the basket to tie the game at 29 as time expired.

But Missouri didn't keep that momentum from the first half, and the Tigers' second-half woes continued. The Tigers didn't make a basket for seven minutes and four seconds after Simmons' 3-point shot. Missouri surrendered five turnovers in the second-half drought that saw the Tigers outscored 38-19.

"It's unacceptable," said Missouri coach Robin Pingeton, who has stressed the importance of the opening minutes of the second half all season. "It's tough to win ball games when you're not knocking down shots, and we struggled tonight offensively."

Missouri made only 23 percent of its shots in the second half compared to Oklahoma State's 46 percent. Pingeton said even the shots her team did make seemed out of sync.

"It was grinding it out a little bit rather than a free-flowing offense," she said. "I didn't feel like we looked like a fine-oiled machine out there. I felt like anything was a struggle."

Both teams didn't shoot effectively for the majority of a low-scoring first half. The first half featured six ties and two lead changes, including a seven-point Oklahoma State advantage that could have been worse for the Tigers if the Cowgirls had made more of their free throws.

Pingeton, who normally tries to emphasize the positive aspects even from a loss, said this particular game doesn't sit well.

"I'll probably stew on this one for a little bit, but tomorrow's got to be a new day for us," she said. "I don't think anybody wants to hear what I have to say because it's not very nice right now."

Pingeton, the Tigers' second-year coach, received a one-year contract extension on Friday.

Senior BreAnna Brock was the only Missouri player to score in double figures Saturday with 11 points. Christine Flores came off a 1-point performance against Texas with eight points and 16 rebounds.

Missouri hoped to end the regular season on a positive note before heading to the Big 12 Conference tournament next week, but the Tigers dropped their final two games in conference play after winning their first Big 12 home game against Kansas State on Feb. 25.

Missouri will play its first tournament game at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in Kansas City. The Tigers' opponent has yet to be determined.