NORMAN, OKLA. — The Missouri women’s basketball team demonstrated strong effort on Saturday, but the 3-point shooting of Oklahoma stifled any Tiger offensive threat.
“A lot of time we were flying at them, and they penetrate so well,” Missouri coach Cindy Stein said.
The Tigers lost 73-59 to the Sooners.
Oklahoma (15-9, 7-6 Big 12) shot 47.4 percent from beyond the 3-point line, thanks to Erin Higgins.
Higgins tied her career-best with six 3-pointers.
She shot 6-for-11 from the 3-point line to finish with 18 points.
This was Missouri’s (9-15, 3-10) first game of the season without a 3-pointer.
The 3-point shooting proved a difficult obstacle for the Tigers to overcome, but a 20-4 Sooner run in the first half might have been the game’s deciding factor.
“It felt like we were constantly trying to catch up from then on,” Stein said. “That little spell in the first half kind of bit us in the tail for the whole game.”
The run began with a Leah Rush jumper to tie Missouri 12-12.
Missouri’s LaToya Bond countered with a jumper of her own to bring the Tigers within one at 15-14.
The Tigers’ scoring drought ended when Tiffany Brooks scored with 9:00 left. But the damage was done.
The Sooners were up 30-16.
Missouri climbed back to a seven-point deficit, 37-30, at halftime.
Brooks was an important part of the Tigers’ offense.
They struggled with 3-pointers, but Brooks continued to penetrate the lane, post-up and drill 10-foot jumpers.
She finished with 16 points.
Teammate Christelle N’Garsanet picked up her play in the second half.
She scored 20 points on 9-for-14 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds. The only other Tiger in double-digits was Bond.
She scored 11 points, pulled down six rebounds and had seven assists.
Brooks, Bond and N’Garsanet produced for Missouri as starters, but its bench remained silent.
The bench was scoreless and grabbed just five rebounds.
Higgins’ play on the outside opened up the inside game for the 6-foot-1-inch Rush.
Rush shot 9-for-16. She scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds.