Missouri women caught up in cyclone

The Cyclones devastated the struggling Tigers.
Junior forward Shakara Jones reaches to regain control of a ball going out of bounds after a struggle with Iowa State forward Chelsea Poppens on Sunday at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers couldn't stand up the 19th ranked team in the country and lost 65-39.

Missouri women's basketball returned home Sunday to take on No. 19 Iowa State, and the Tigers posted their worst shooting performance of the season as the Cyclones handed them their eighth conference loss.

The first 12 minutes of the game might have sealed the deal for Missouri when the Tigers shot a dismal 2-of-17 from the field to start the contest. With five minutes to play in the first half, the Tigers had scored just eight points.

On the other end of floor, the Cyclones found themselves wide open down low again and again. They dominated inside with 18 points in the paint in the first half, as well as four free throws coming from being fouled inside.

"First half we were really good," Iowa State coach Bill Fennelly said. "We got some transition baskets and really hurt them inside. You don't get a big lead in this league very often, but we certainly played well at a time when we needed to."

Missouri's 17 percent shooting in the first half was its worst start to a game all year, and Iowa State led 39-15 at the break.

"We were flat all day," coach Cindy Stein said. "It's that old cliché: Things didn't bounce our way. That was definitely the theme in the first half. It all kind of snowballed on us."

Although some aspects of the first half could be blamed on bad luck, Stein knew many of the things in her team's control also went poorly.

"Those things are unacceptable," Stein said. "Not running the floor hard, kids getting down. At one of the timeouts, I felt like we were having a little pity party. We have to get tougher."

Missouri came out stronger in the second half, starting with a 7-0 run. But the Cyclones refused to let up, outscoring the Tigers again in the half. The home team made a few short-lived runs but could never cut the lead down to single digits as Iowa State coasted to the 65-39 victory.

The Tigers' shooting improved slightly in the second half, bringing them to a low 13-of-54 from the field for the game. The 39 points was their lowest final tally of the season. Stein called the performance, "just one of those nights."

In addition to more work on shooting in practice, Stein hinted at a possible change in the starting lineup for the coming games.

The starting five in question combined for a measly 31 points in the loss. No Tiger scored more than five points aside from junior guard RaeShara Brown, who had 12 points.

Iowa State had three scorers hit double figures in the win. Senior guard Alison Lacey and junior guard Kelsey Bolte hit five 3-pointers between them, and freshman forward Chelsea Poppens controlled the paint with 14 points and nine rebounds. Lacey led all scorers with 18 points.

Missouri senior guard Toy Richbow was one of three Tigers with just five points, and she hopes the loss will inspire her team.

"If anything it should motivate us even more because we are better than we played today," Richbow said. "A loss is a loss so we just try to bounce back off it."

The Tigers will travel to Manhattan, Kan., on Wednesday to take on unranked Kansas State.

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