Three takeaways from Missouri women’s basketball's loss to Georgia

The Tigers are handed second home loss of the season after three-game winning streak.

The Tigers came out with next to no energy, and it came back to bite them.

Although the team stayed competitive for the majority of the game, a few major mistakes caught up to them in the end, resulting in its second home game loss of the season. After going into the third quarter hot off freshman Sophie Cunningham’s buzzer-beater three, the Georgia's women's basketball team quickly went on a run of their own, winning 65-50.

1. Lack of effort on the boards. For the first time this season, Coach Robin Pingeton addressed a subject her players never had a problem with. Given her correlation of rebounding with effort, the post players being outrebounded 31-36, made it clear the energy down low wasn’t there.

“I didn't like our effort on the boards,” Pingeton said. “We have done such a great job all year long from a rebounding standpoint and I always correlate that with effort and that is something that we have not had to talk to our team a lot about this year. They've been so great with that.”

The rebounds the Tigers didn’t pick up on, the Bulldogs were quick to put back, equating to eight second chance offensive opportunities.

2. Georgia’s defense dominated, Missouri’s fell short. In the fourth quarter, the black and gold players fell behind on defense from successful screens and fatigue, allowing open shot after open shot. Then, all of a sudden, the team that was up by four was trailing by 14, a deficit it wouldn’t be able to comeback from in the last few minutes.

"I think it is just a lack of discipline on our part,” Cunningham said. “We have to know who the shooters are. We need to know personnel, but if they make a basket, we can't get deflated. We have to go right back at them and throw the next punch, so that is something that we really need to work on."

Where Missouri was flat, Bulldogs were as energized as ever. Although Georgia didn’t practice a lot of full court-pressure, according to Pingeton, their half-court defense was the type of in-your-face coverage that gets in your head, an evident component in the Tigers’ low-scoring fourth quarter.

3. The momentum didn’t come when needed. The game certainly had its fair share crowd-rousing, momentum-lifting shots. After all, Missouri ended two out of the four quarters with buzzer beater treys to carry over the team’s momentum. Unfortunately for them, the plays didn’t come when they were needed the most.

“I know playing on our home court is so important and again another great turnout from a fan standpoint,” Pingeton said. “We didn't give them a lot to get excited about and I thought we looked fatigued. For the first four minutes of the game we looked tired. We've got to evaluate that and figure out what is going on from that standpoint.”

The team will have to figure out the source of its energy deficiency fast if it wants to have chance at a road win against No. 11 Mississippi State on Sunday.

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