Pingeton disappointed with Mizzou’s sixth loss

Story by Lauren Delaney
Photos by Derek Klein

Christine Flores was visibly upset during the media conference following the Tigers last minute loss to Oklahoma State Saturday.

Despite making 11 3-pointers in Saturday’s game against the Oklahoma State Cowgirls, the Missouri women’s basketball team was defeated 62-58. The Tigers, now 0-6 in conference play, are in last place in the Big 12 standings. Christine Flores was the high scorer for Missouri with 20 points and seven rebounds.

Both teams were slow getting out of the gates, but when Oklahoma State forward Toni Young scored the first points in the fourth minute of the game, the Tigers quickly answered back.

The first to score for Missouri was guard Liene Priede. She laid in a 3-pointer after 5 minutes of play, closing the gap to a 4-3 Oklahoma State lead.

Although the players were making baskets, coach Robin Pingeton was disappointed with their level of play. “We weren’t ready to go out of the gates,” she said. “How that happens I can’t fathom as a competitor, but I know it’s absolutely my responsibility to make sure they’re ready to go and we weren’t.”

Priede helped set the pace for the Tigers, but her presence on the court was cut short by an injury. After scrambling for a loose ball, she came out of the pileup with a finger injury and immediately sought medical attention.  She hustled off the court, her expression conveying the pain of the injury, and freshman guard Morgan Eye stepped onto the court to take her place. The energy Priede left on the court spread to her teammates and the Tigers were able to keep up with the slew of 3-point shots by the Cowgirls.

The Cowgirls pulled ahead, running the score to 23-13 with just under 7 minutes left in the period.  The Tigers pulled ahead when Eye hit two consecutive 3-pointers. The Tigers’ luck began to change towards the end of the first half, just in time for Priede to return with a taped finger. She played through the pain and her presence on the court made quite the difference when she rebounded from the injury and sunk a buzzer-beating jumper, ending the half with Oklahoma State leading 30-32. Priede continued to play through the second half, scoring 10 points overall and had two defensive rebounds in the second half. In a press conference after the game, she said she doesn’t know the extent of her injury just yet.

The second half was a game of catch-up for the Tigers.  The team sank shots but made mistakes that let the Cowgirls pull ahead. The Cowgirls led by 10 with 11 minutes to go in the game. Mizzou senior guard Flores nailed two clutch 3-pointers to cut the Cowgirls’ lead, but in the last 5 minutes the Tigers played a fast-paced game that created a rushed and frenzied offense. The Tigers handed out fouls like candy on Halloween, giving the Cowgirls a scoring advantage. Flores fouled out with 14 seconds left and Cowgirls forward Liz Donahoe hit both free throws, extending their lead to 62-58. In the last seconds Tiger forward BreAnna Brock threw up a jumper in hopes of closing the score gap, but Cowgirls forward Toni Young snagged a defensive rebound and ended the Tiger’s hopes of prevailing in this conference match.

The Tigers didn’t bring their A-game to the courts against the Cowgirls and Pingeton was not impressed with how the team played.

“I think we work harder in a practice than we do in a game, which absolutely makes no sense to me, but I thought the second half they were playing with energy, I thought they were moving well together.”

Flores agrees with Pingeton’s disappointment.

“We agree with her a hundred percent. Not all of us stepped up today, that was a disappointing game. We all have to be ready, it takes every single one of us to get a win.”

Still looking for their first conference win, the Tigers will take on the Texas Longhorns in Texas on Wednesday, January 25. Texas lost to Oklahoma 73-67 Saturday and is now 2-4 in conference play.

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