The Missouri women’s basketball team ended the Cancun Challenge with its second loss of the season Saturday, falling to Minnesota 59-54.
The game began with a Missouri turnover followed by four missed shots, but Lianna Doty played an early role in turning things around for the Tigers.
Two minutes into the first half, Doty passed the ball to Bri Kulas, who scored the first points of the game. The Golden Gophers lost their next opportunity to answer when Doty stole the ball and sent it across the court to Sydney Crafton, who snagged the pass and drove in for a layup.
Directly following her two assists, Doty hit a 3-pointer to make the score 7-0 with 17 minutes left to play in the first half. Missouri held the lead and claimed a 28-23 advantage at the break.
But missed shots once again hurt Missouri (4-2) in the second half. The Tigers lost their lead with 11 minutes left to play and finished the game shooting 34 percent.
The game stayed close, though, and a free throw by Liene Priede gave Missouri a 53-49 advantage with 3:27 to play. Minnesota wasn't finished though and ended on a 10-1 run led by guard Rachel Banham to secure the victory.
Banham, who led the Gophers with 20 points, helped overtake the Tigers with a key defensive rebound and assist on teammate Kayla Hirt's game-tying layup. Banham's jumper gave Minnesota a 55-53 lead with 1:58 to go. Then another assist and a steal helped the Gophers (6-1) close out the game.
Doty's 16 points led Missouri, which went 1-2 at the tournament. Crafton scored 14, and Kulas had 10.
In the final seconds, Doty planted her feet outside the 3-point arch and took her final shot of the game. The ball danced on the rim before falling to the side.
Missouri is set to play next against Southeastern Missouri at 7 p.m. Thursday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.