Cindy Stein said the reputation of the Missouri women’s basketball team got a big boost Wednesday night.
The unranked Tigers upset No. 4 Baylor, the defending national champions, 64-61 at Mizzou Arena, perhaps the Tigers’ biggest victory since 2001’s Sweet Sixteen upset of fourth-seeded Georgia.
“When you defeat the No. 4 team in the country, you all of a sudden become a target yourself,” Stein said. “I think that any coach would prefer to be a target versus having to chase one.”
Tiffany Brooks blocked Jordan Davis’ 3-point attempt with 6 seconds left, helping the Tigers (11-2) extend their winning streak to 10 games and ending Baylor’s 30-game winning streak in both team’s Big 12 Conference opener.
Missouri led 34-28 at half, but in the second the Bears went ahead 48-46 on a Sophia Young basket with 10 minutes to go. Young had 31 points and 11 rebounds for Baylor (11-1).
The lead changed hands six times after Young’s shot until a 3-point basket from forward EeTisha Riddle with two minutes left put Missouri ahead for good 61-59.
Riddle said that she was relieved her shot went in.
“I was thinking, ‘Lord please help this ball go in,’” Riddle said. “The clock was running down and I didn’t have anywhere to go. The girl gave me space and I shot it. Thankfully it went in.”
Bears’ coach Kim Mulkey-Robertson said she did not believe in making excuses, but that she had three or four players that took the night off.
“To even get back and take the lead with how poorly we were offensively, with the exception of Sophia Young, was amazing,” Mulkey-Robertson said. “I thought offensively we were awful. I felt Missouri set the tone.”
Stein said slowing Young was crucial to the Tigers’ win.
“She (Sophia Young) could score in so many ways, the key for us was to wear her down a little,” Stein said.
Lotoya Bond led the Tigers with 21 points and Tiffany Brooks scored 12 points.
“This was an exciting game for us,” coach Cindy Stein said. “They gave it their all. They did an outstanding job.”
The Tigers’ next home game is at 1 p.m. Saturday against Kansas State Wildcats.
Associated Press contributed to this story.