Sloppy play does not make a coach happy.
In fact, Missouri women’s basketball coach Cindy Stein thinks it was a bit ridiculous in a 56-51 loss to Colorado on Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena.
“I think it’s fitting that today was the first day of classes because I think we got schooled today,” Stein said. “We spent all morning in the classroom, and we came on the court and got taught a lesson or two.”
The Tigers (7-9, 1-4 Big 12) extended their losing streak to four and gave the Buffaloes (8-7, 1-3) their first conference win of the season.
“It (the win) is huge for us, particularly on the road,” Colorado coach Ceal Barry said.
Missouri had a 28-20 lead at halftime, but it was often ineffective on both ends of the court.
“There wasn’t a whole lot of execution coming out of any timeouts,” Stein said. “That’s my responsibility, I know that, but that’s something, we’re working on it.”
Both teams played sloppily, but the Buffaloes kept the Tigers within reach.
“I’ve seen them roll over before, and they didn’t,” Barry said. “They just hung in there and hung in there and kept battling.”
In the second half, Jackie McFarland’s two free throws gave Colorado its first lead at 38-37 with 13 minutes, 31 seconds left.
The lead changed sides several times until the Buffaloes went on a 6-0 run with 7:38 left, giving them a 47-42 advantage.
McFarland was a vital part of Colorado’s bench, scoring 20 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Missouri tried to rally late. The Tigers’ LaToya Bond intercepted Sarah Linni’s pass into the interior. Bond drove the middle, dished the ball to Kassie Drew, who made a 3-pointer with 3:15 left to cut Colorado’s lead to 51-50.
The Tigers could not score in the last 1:11. In turn, Colorado made its free throws to seal the victory.
“I was happy we were hitting at the free-throw line because it has been our nemesis,” Barry said. “It seemed to me that even though we went 10-of-16, that’s kind of good for us.”
Colorado scored 23 points off Missouri’s 29 turnovers.
“Our play today, the line item that’s probably the key is 29 turnovers,” Stein said. “That’s ridiculous, and you’ve got 16 of those out of two key players that we rely on a lot.”
The Tigers threw many errant passes away from their intended targets, into the sidelines.
“We got confused on who was sitting on the end line and who was playing on the court,” Stein said.
The first five minutes of the game were almost perfect. The Tigers jumped out to a 12-2 lead.
Colorado coach Ceal Barry called a quick timeout, subbed in three players, and squelched Missouri’s momentum. The Tigers did not score for 6:50, allowing the Buffaloes within two.
Stein said her team’s up-and-down play happens outside of games.
“Our practices are like this too,” she said. “The first hour is great. Then all of a sudden it can turn ugly quick.”
Colorado missed several opportunities to capitalize on Missouri’s offensive drought. The Buffaloes shot a dismal 9-of-34 in the first half.
“I felt like in the first half, we missed a lot of easy shots,” Barry said. “A lot of layups, we’d crawl within four or two in the first half, and we’d miss a layup.”
Carlynn Savant was stellar in the first half for the Tigers, scoring eight and making both of her 3-pointers. She finished with 12 points and six rebounds.
Colorado went 0-of-8 from the 3-point line. The Buffaloes had made at least one 3-pointer in 76 straight games, but Barry was not upset about the streak ending.
Stein added that Missouri must take the initiative to improve its execution.
“I thought we tried, but it still comes down to, they’ve got to do it within a framework and they’re losing that framework and losing poise,” she said. “And like I said, that’s a leadership issue.”