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Buffs Clipped By Missouri 66-55

Feb 28, 2009

BOULDER- The University of Colorado women's basketball team fell behind early and was never able to gain the lead as they dropped their third straight game, losing to the University of Missouri 66-55 at the Coors Events/Conference Center Saturday afternoon.

Colorado drops into last place in the Big 12 at 3-11, 11-15 overall. Missouri improves to 13-14, 4-10.

 "This was a very disappointing game," CU Head Coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said.  "We started flat and I thought we finished flat...From start to finish they played with more energy than we did."

The Tigers are among the league leaders in turnover margin and Colorado found this out first hand as MU scored 32 of its points off 23 CU turnovers.

Sophomore Brittany Spears put up a game-high 26 points and senior Kara Richards recorded her third double-double in the past four games with 12 points and 10 rebounds, but their efforts just were not enough to dent Missouri's lead.

Mizzou caught the Buffs off guard as they stormed to a 13-2 lead less than five minutes into the game.  During this run, the Tigers forced five Colorado turnovers, netting 11 of their 13 points off CU giveaways—two of which came from MU steals.

Not only did Colorado have trouble hanging onto the ball, but the Buffaloes also had a hard time getting their shots to fall.  They made only one of their first five attempts, a jumper by sophomore Kelly Jo Mullaney at the 17:38 mark.

Spears helped the Buffs narrow the gap, as she led her team on a 7-0 run in the last 1:45 to close out the half.  First she threaded a perfect pass to Courtney Dunn who broke free under the basket for a layup.  Spears followed this with a deep 3-pointer and then a driving layup with nine seconds left in the half.

When the halftime buzzer sounded, the Buffs only trailed by four (33-29).

But the second half didn't go Colorado's way as they shot only 32 percent from the field (8-for-25) and 25 percent from behind the 3-point arc (3-for-12) during the last 20 minutes. 

Mizzou out-rebounded CU 35-31 on the game, including 14 offensive rebounds—11 of which came in the last 8:16.

"We just didn't dig enough or get the rebounds," McConnell-Miller said.  "They had too many second and third opportunities in the last two minutes."

Junior Jessra Johnson led the Tigers with 19 points.  Three other players also finished in double digits: Alyssa Hollins (14), RaeShara Brown (14), and Shakara Jones (12).

Colorado travels to Nebraska for its next game on Tuesday March 3.  Tip-off is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.