Sooners come back to edge Missouri

A late 3-point attempt to win it didn't go through.
Senior forward Jessra Johnson takes a shot from the foul line against No. 13 Oklahoma on Wednesday night at Mizzou Arena. Johnson led Missouri with 18 points and seven rebounds during the night.

The Missouri women's basketball team lost 62-61 to No. 13 Oklahoma on Wednesday night at Mizzou Arena. With the loss, the Tigers' losing streak was stretched to five games and lowered their record to 10-7.

Although the Tigers were able to place pressure on the Sooners throughout the game, they were unable to come up with the winning shot. Senior forward Jessra Johnson led the team with 18 points and junior forward Shakara Jones had 13 points for the Tigers, who are now 0-4 in conference play.

"I thought Missouri played with a great deal of confidence and never acted as if they were out of it," Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale said. "I thought our energy was poor and that's something that we're responsible for. They looked confident because they had the lead for most of the game."

The Sooners jumped out to a 10-6 lead early in the game, but the Tigers responded by coming back and knotting the score at 14-14. The teams then exchanged leads throughout the rest of the half with Missouri scoring eight-straight points to take a 30-21 lead with about five minutes left in the first half.

Although the Sooners were able to cut into that lead, the Tigers went into the locker room at halftime leading 30-25. The Sooners came out hard in the second half and went on a 10-2 run to take a 35-32 lead early in the half. Oklahoma increased its lead to six and eventually took a 52-47 lead.

The Tigers then hit eight straight free throws and went on an 8-2 run to take a 55-54 lead. The teams traded points until the end of the game, when Sooner senior forward Amanda Thompson hit a jump shot with 9.6 seconds left in the game to take a 62-61 lead. Although Johnson was able to get a 3-pointer off, it did not fall, and the Tigers suffered the loss.

Johnson, who in addition to leading the team in points also picked up a team-high seven rebounds, said time wasn't on her side when it came down to making the shot.

"It was a loud crowd, and there wasn't a lot of time to dribble to the rim, so I shot it," Johnson said. "It's just a situation that you put yourself in."

The Tigers will take on ninth ranked Baylor at 1 p.m. Saturday at Mizzou Arena and will travel to face No. 12 Oklahoma State on Tuesday.

"It was a tough game to lose," coach Cindy Stein said. "I felt like we had a lot of opportunities to hit open shots. Their defense was sharp today. I thought that we were active, but they beat us on the boards pretty good. They had some more opportunities and hit some key baskets."

Although the shot missed, Stein backed up Johnson's attempt to win the game.

"Everyone has to be ready to shoot the ball," she said. "We had a good look at the last shot. Your kids have to be confident to take the shot, and I thought it was a good shot. I thought Jessra had a strong game today."

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