Story by Derek Klein
Video by Lauren Delaney
Missouri coach Robin Pingeton constantly stresses the importance of the first four minutes of the second half to her team. On Tuesday night, her team missed the message.
The Tigers were outscored by eight points in the first four minutes en route to a 75-62 loss to the Texas Longhorns at Mizzou Arena. Mizzou falls to 12-16 overall and 2-15 in Big 12 Conference play.
“Those first four minutes they played with a lot of energy, and we weren’t where we needed to be mentally or physically,” Pingeton said.
The Longhorns came out of the locker room on fire. Texas made six of its first seven shots, including two 3-pointers.
Turnovers allowed Texas to get out in transition and get some easy baskets.
The Tigers four-point halftime lead quickly disappeared, and the four-point advantage went to the Longhorns.
“We were attacking much more on offense,” Texas coach Gail Goestenkors said. “We hit some shots and pulled away.”
Mizzou got off to another fast start, quickly gaining a 12-4 advantage in the first six minutes of the game. The Tigers increased the lead to 11 points with 13 minutes remaining in the half.
The Tigers made their first four 3-pointers, and were getting contributions from a variety of players. Bailey Gee, Kyley Simmons, Morgan Eye and Liene Priede each made a basket from long range.
Perhaps the biggest contributor was senior BreAnna Brock. Brock had seen her average drop nearly three points in conference play, but the senior made her presence known on senior night.
The forward dominated the first half. She recorded a first half double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds, shooting 60 percent from the field. She finished with 24 points and 16 rebounds.
“We couldn’t do anything with her,” Goestenkors said. “That was one of the best games if not the best game I have seen her play.”
As the second half began, the Longhorns eliminated Brock’s effect with hot shooting of their own. Texas shot 57 percent from the field in the second half and 50 percent on 3-pointers.
Sophomore guard Chelsea Bass led the way with 18 points off the bench. Chassidy Fussell added 16 with nine coming in the second half.
The Tigers on the other hand struggled to make shots. Mizzou made only eight second half baskets, four of which Brock scored. Mizzou missed 13 3-pointers in the second half alone.
Senior Christine Flores struggled the most.
Flores came up short on senior night. Mizzou’s leading scorer managed only one point on 13 shots, nearly 17 points below her season average.
The single point was her lowest total on the season.
“I can’t explain it,” Flores said. “I’m very disappointed in myself, and I apologize to my team because I let them down.”
Flores understands her team needs her to turn it around if they hope to pull off an upset in the conference tournament. She knows her performance against the Longhorns was not enough for her team, and adjustments must be made.
“I got to get in the gym,” she said. “I got to go back, and I’m going to shoot. That’s all I can do.”
Mizzou heads to Oklahoma on Saturday, March 3 to face the Oklahoma State Cowgirls in the regular season finale. The showdown starts at 7 pm and will be the Tigers last regular season game as members of the Big 12.