Nov. 24, 2012
Cancun, Mexico - Three Tigers scored in the double figures in a battle for win number two at the Cancun Challenge. With both Minnesota and Missouri looking for a 2-1 finish in the tournament, the Tigers dropped to the Gophers 59-54. Missouri will finish the Cancun Challenge 1-2, and fall to 4-2 on the season. In a game that came down to the wire, freshman Lianna Doty put up a career-high 16 points and both Sydney Crafton and Bri Kulas had double figure scoring games.
Game three in Cancun started out on a high note for the Tigers, as Mizzou began the game on a 7-0 run. Bri Kulas started off the scoring, hitting a jumper to give MU a 2-0 lead right off the bat. A layup from Sydney Crafton made it 4-0 in the Tigers' favor, and Doty followed up with a three-pointer to put the Tigers up by seven.
Minnesota got on the board with 16:04 left in the half, making it 7-2, but Liz Smith helped Mizzou hold on to the lead with a bucket at the 15:02 mark. The Tigers maintained their lead throughout the entire half, but Minnesota pulled within reach with seven minutes until the half. The Gophers made three shots in a row, shrinking the Tigers' lead to just two. With a 19-17 lead, Crafton made a three, helping the Tigers pull away.
After the timeout, Minnesota's Rachel Banham makes back-to-back shots, bringing the Gohpers within one. Coming through in the clutch, Morgan Eye made a three to put Mizzou up 25-21. Lianna Doty also helped the Tigers get ahead again making a three-pointer with just under two minutes left in the half. Minnesota's Kellog made two free throws with just 4.2 seconds left on the clock, but the Tigers maintained the lead into halftime.
Coming out of the locker room with a 28-23 lead over Minnesota, Doty upped the Tigers' lead with a three-pointer making it 31-23 in Mizzou's favor. The Gophers quickly zeroed in on Missouri's lead, and a layup from Michelle Hudyn helped keep the Tigers afloat. Down by just two points, Minnesota's Loberg knocked in two from the charity stripe to tie the game at 34 with 11:34 left. The free throws were almost immediately followed by a Gopher layup to put Minnesota on top.
Mizzou didn't let things stay that way, thanks to Crafton who made two free throws and a layup to put the Tigers back on top, 38-36. The Gophers again regained the lead with just over nine minutes to play, but Crafton again came through with a trey to tie things up again. The two teams were tied at 43 at the under-8 media time out.
Immediately out of the timeout, a Liz Smith free throw put Missouri back ahead by one, but the Gophers wouldn't allow the lead for long as Micaella Riche put two more on the board for Minnesota. With the pressure on, Kulas knocked in a three making it 47-45 in favor of the Tigers, and a perfectly timed steal by Doty gave her the chance to make a layup and give Mizzou a 49-45 lead.
With just over three minutes left in the game, the Tigers were still maintaining the 51-49 lead, and two free throws from Liene Priede made it 53-49 in favor of Missouri. Minnesota tied the game at 53 with 2:44 left to play thanks to Kayla Hirt, and the Gophers pulled ahead with another bucket. With a little over a minute left, a foul allowed Doty to put Mizzou within one. The Gophers finished the game with a jumper from Rachel Banham and sealed the deal with two made free throws. The Tigers fell to Minnesota 59-54 to end the Cancun Challenge 1-2.
Next up, Mizzou will host SEMO on Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on KTGR FM and a live video feed will be available on the Mizzou Network. Fans can also follow along with the team on Twitter (@MissouriWBB) and Facebook (facebook.com/missouriwbb).