Enough to win

Four Tigers scored in double figures, but MU couldn’t shake
the Billikens until the final minutes
Monday, January 3, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 7:17 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

The coach didn’t quite know what to say.

“Well, I think the most important thing coming out of this game is that fact that we won,” Missouri coach Cindy Stein finally said.

The Missouri women’s basketball team did not play well, but it did play to another victory.

Missouri defeated Saint Louis University 67-50 on Sunday at Mizzou Arena.

This is the Tigers’ second-straight win, including a 58-57 defeat of Miami of Ohio on Friday.

Saint Louis’ young team has dropped 10-in-a-row.

Missouri (6-5) did not play exceptionally, but its offense established itself.

LaToya Bond, Christelle N’Garsanet, Tiffany Brooks, and Carlynn Savant all scored in double-digits for the Tigers, who were up 30-18 at the half, but saw their 12-point lead dwindle down to seven with 4:12 to go.

“I just think we just got complacent,” Stein said. “I felt like our kids never felt like they were in danger, so they were just kind of playing along.”

Saint Louis (1-12) could not rally past Missouri in the last four minutes. The Billikens’ last basket was with 4:29 left.

Missouri point guard LaToya Bond scored six points in the last 1:21 to put the game out of reach.

“I think the last four minutes is more indicative of how we’ve been playing as far as controlling the ball and taking care of it,” Stein said.

Bond finished with a game-high 17 points.

Missouri did not benefit from its height advantage. The Tigers only outrebounded the Billikens 38-35.

Stein said the team has too much athleticism for it to get pushed around in the post.

“I have not been pleased with our rebounding yet,” Stein said. “That’s just something that we continue to focus on and we can do a better job of.”

Tiger Christelle N’Garsanet pulled down nine rebounds and scored 16 points.

Both teams got help from the bench.

Saint Louis guard Hayley Leake, a 5-foot-6 freshman, scored 10. The Tigers’ looked to sophomore Carlynn Savant.

Stein said Savant got the team going by hitting big shots. One of those baskets came in the first half. After Savant stole the ball from Rachel Diener, she came down the floor and made a 3-pointer to put Missouri up 21-7.

Missouri’s defense held Mia Johnson, the Billikens’ star freshman, to 13 points on 4-of 15 shooting. It was a team-high, but entering the game, she averaged 18.5 points.

The Tigers’ defense made 14 steals, but also made 16 turnovers.

“We get them (steals) at some good opportunities, but at the same time, statistically we have to take care of the ball a lot better,” Stein said.

Missouri guard Tiffany Brooks, coming off her winning jumper against Miami, finished with 11 points and three steals.

Stein said the team still lacked some intensity, something she said she doesn’t want to see with Big 12 Conference play beginning this week.

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