Missouri women struggle to score in loss at Vanderbilt

Thursday, February 14, 2013 | 8:58 p.m. CST; updated 6:08 p.m. CDT, Saturday, March 30, 2013

With under six minutes left to play in the first half, Sydney Crafton made the first 3-pointer of the night for the Missouri women’s basketball team.

The Tigers have averaged 9.9 3-pointers per game at home this season, but at Vanderbilt on Thursday night, they missed all nine of their shots before Crafton ended the drought.

The basket closed the gap and tied the game at 17. After the basket, the Commodores went on a 12-0 run before Morgan Eye sank her first 3-pointer of the game after shooting 0-5 from long range.  

The Tigers trailed 29-20 at halftime, with Crafton totaling 11 points. But Missouri never got going offensively to close the deficit, ultimately leading to a 62-46 loss.

Missouri shot 4-for-27 from behind the arc against Vanderbilt. The Tigers' inability to make shots also doomed them in Sunday's 61-57 loss against Mississippi State at Mizzou Arena, where Missouri shot 3-for-20 from long range.

For a team that relies heavily on its shooting, coach Robin Pingeton said the issue must be addressed carefully.

"I think you’ve got to be awfully careful talking about shooting," Pingeton said. "It’s a fine line there because that becomes mental."

With 3:13 left to play, Bri Kulas scored her first points of the game to make the score 52-40. In Missouri's next possession, she followed with a layup to make it a 10-point game. But poor shooting once again prevented the Tigers from ever closing the gap.

Crafton led the team in points with 20 and grabbed seven rebounds. Eye followed with nine points, shooting 3-for-13 from 3-point range. Liz Smith scored eight. Kulas, who averages 13.7 points, totaled six.

Missouri has been struggling with turnovers, giving up the ball more than 20 times against Mississippi State. The Tigers improved Thursday turning over the ball just 16 times compared to the Commodores 18, and the Tigers grabbed 29 rebounds.

"I feel like defensively, we’re doing a really good job," Pingeton said. "We’re having a hard time throwing it in the ocean right now."

Missouri is now 4-7 in Southeastern Conference play and will face Arkansas on Sunday on the road.

"We’ve got to figure out something offensively," Pingeton said. "We're just not knocking down shots."

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