Missouri picked the best time to break a streak.
Texas A&M’s defense tried to keep the score low, but it wasn’t enough as the MU women’s basketball team won 61-60 on Wednesday in College Station, Texas, in a Big 12 Conference game.
Coach Cindy Stein, who had never won in Texas while at Missouri, got her 100th win in six seasons at MU.
The Tigers improved to 16-11, 7-9.
Stein’s first win in Texas could not have come at a better time because the Big 12 tournament starts in Dallas on Tuesday. The Tigers had not won in Texas since defeating Baylor 68-56 on Jan. 2, 1990.
Physical game doesn't faze Tigers
“It was a really physical game,” Stein said. “I couldn’t believe all the contact that was going on. I kept telling (the team) poise and defense was going to win the game and I really thought we did a good job of that.”
Missouri’s win, combined with Nebraska’s 63-60 loss to Colorado on Wednesday, opens up the possibility of a three-way tie for seventh place in the Big 12. If Iowa State, which Missouri is tied with for eighth in the conference, wins tonight against Kansas, the Tigers move into seventh because of a complex tiebreaking system.
If Iowa State loses, the Tigers will face the Cyclones as the No. 8 seed.
Texas A&M (9-18, 2-14) trailed most of the second half, but Tamea Scales’ 10 points and Toccara Williams’ 16 points kept the score close, and the Aggies tied it at 58 when Charlette Castile made a 3-pointer from the left corner with 54 seconds left.
Senior forward Evan Unrau’s put-back gave Missouri a 60-58 lead, but Williams responded with a layup to tie the game with 18 seconds left.
Aggies miss key free throws
Senior forward Stretch James had an opportunity to give Missouri the lead after Castile fouled her, but James missed both free throws. The ball was tied up during the rebound and the Tigers kept the ball because of the alternating possession. Janae Derrick then fouled Unrau, sending her to the line where she made the first free throw but missed the second.
Williams grabbed the rebound and drove the length of the floor but was called for the offensive foul, turning the ball over with two seconds left.
Defense prevents final Texas A&M shot
Unrau inbounded the ball, but senior guard Tracy Lozier couldn’t hold it and turned it over with nine-tenths of a second left.
The Aggies tried to lob the ball inside, but couldn’t get the shot off as time expired.
“Our defense kept us in the ball game because they had way too many possessions at the end of this game for them to not actually take the game over if they are hitting them,” Stein said. “Our defense stood up to this challenge.”