Johnson leads Missouri women' s basketball to win

Saturday, December 29, 2007 | 9:36 p.m. CST; updated 7:58 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Missouri women’s basketball team used a double-double from sophomore forward Jessra Johnson and a 22-6 run to close out the game on Saturday to beat Delaware State, 55-50, in the consolation game of the Cavalier Classic in Charlottesville, Va.

The Tigers were down by 11 with 10:02 to play and a comeback seemed to be a daunting task considering MU’s poor play in the second half this season. The Tigers had let 18-point leads melt away against Stephen F. Austin and UMKC earlier in the year and had been outscored by 54 points in the second half over the last four games, but they got to within seven with 4:56 to play and then scored the last 12 points of the game to get the win.

“The key was our offensive execution down the stretch was much much better,” coach Cindy Stein said. “We took better care of the ball and we got up and defended well and those two things can win you a lot of ballgames. We just did a better job controlling the last five minutes of the game.”

Johnson led Missouri with 20 points, nine on free throws, and had 11 rebounds. Freshman forward Shakara Jones and sophomore forward Amanda Hanneman each added 14 points.

Their performances helped the Tigers overcome a rough game from junior guard Alyssa Hollins and the absence of sophomore forward Marissa Scott. Scott missed her second straight game due to illness. Hollins was held to three shots in the first half and made two of eight field goals for four points for MU.

“Alyssa was really tired, we wore her out last night,” Stein said. “Obviously it helps when you have Amanda contributing now and doing a good job . . . Shakara had a better game today. When you have those things it helps you overcome something you rely on a lot.”

While Hollins only put in four points, she had a strong impact on the defensive end. She held DSU senior guard Raquel Collier to 10 points on four of 13 shooting a day after the senior scored 20 points against Virginia.

“She just really limited her touches and stayed between her and the basket,” Stein said.

The win closed out the non-conference season for MU (7-6) and was the sixth-straight loss for Delaware State (3-9).

The Tigers will have a week and a half off before they host Colorado Jan. 9 in their Big 12 opener.

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