Tigers rally to shock Cats in OT

By Joshua Kinder

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Forty minutes just wasn’t enough to decide the final meeting between the Kansas State and Missouri women’s basketball teams.

Missouri erased a seven-point K-State lead with 4 minutes to play in regulation Saturday and sent the game to overtime with a deep 3-pointer off the glass from Liene Priede with 3 seconds to go.

Unfortunately for K-State, Missouri was just getting warmed up.

The Tigers outscored the Wildcats 8-3 in the overtime period to defeat K-State 61-56 and snap the Wildcats’ two-game winning streak.

Priede scored all 11 of her points in the second half and overtime.

K-State, now 18-10 overall and 9-7 in the Big 12, missed five of its six shots in the extra 5-minute period, while turning the ball over three times.

Missouri scored first to break the tie and K-State answered immediately with a 3-pointer from Chantay Caron to take a 56-55 lead with 4:23 to play. But that would be it from the Wildcats the rest of the way.

As frustrating as the overtime period was, it was the final 4 minutes of regulation that shifted all the momentum Missouri’s way. K-State, which shot 33 percent from the field, fought the entire second half to get control of a game that was tied at 27 at halftime.

Just when the Wildcats would take the lead, Missouri would fight back and tie the game. It wasn’t until an 8-0 run with 5:24 remaining that K-State finally got some separation to lead 50-43 after a layup by Mariah White.

The success was short-lived, though, as the Tigers (12-15, 2-14) stormed back at the free throw line. K-State, meanwhile, couldn’t finish the job at the line. Missouri, which shot 41 percent from the field and outrebounded K-State 40-38, made 5-of-8 from the stripe. The Wildcats were just 3-of-8 from the line in the final 3 minutes and 9-of-19 overall.

“I didn’t think we were connecting on the offensive end of the floor with any consistency,” K-State coach Deb Patterson said. “We might get a little bit of life in one element of our game, and then mindlessly come out and turn away from that on our next trip up the floor.

“Our decisions were very questionable, they weren’t consistent, and again, on the road against a team with nothing to lose… we just didn’t take advantage of opportunities that we had.”

If she had it to do over again, Patterson said the right defensive play at the end of regulation would have been to foul Missouri before the Tigers could get a 3-pointer off to tie the game.

“The last play in regulation, I didn’t put our team in the best position to win,” she said. “I believe the best play would have been to foul before a 3-point attempt could be made. And without directive, we did the best we could to defend. A 3-pointer off the glass is part of the risk involved in not fouling, and ultimately, it beat us.”

Missouri coach Robin Pingeton said the final shot was supposed to go to Christine Flores, who had a game-high 20 points, and not Priede.

“I think it’s exactly like we drew it,” she quipped. “I said, ‘bank it in.’ No, actually not. Actually, it was for Christine Flores, but we talk all the time when we go through situations in practice. We have to have players that will be willing to make plays. We can’t determine ahead of time rotations and defensively how they’re going to guard situations. Bottom line is, we have to have players that will make plays. (Priede) made a play for us today and a big play to send us into overtime.”

For the Tigers, Saturday’s win is their second in the last three games — that’s after losing 13 straight from Jan. 4 to Feb. 14. Included in that stretch was K-State’s 72-46 win over Missouri at Bramlage Coliseum on Jan. 11.

Patterson said she saw a different team Saturday.

“I think they are significantly better,” she said. “They just have a better feel for where they want the ball each possession. They are putting themselves in position, relative to their strengths, to maximize that possession. They are better competitively — like I said, they finished the game better than we did.

“We were in a battle to win our 10th (conference) game and they were in a battle to win their second, but they made the plays down the stretch.”

The loss soured a solid individual performance for K-State’s Tasha Dickey, who scored a team-high 18 points, including a trio of 3-pointers. Dickey was the offense for the Wildcats on a day when Brittany Chambers was defended tightly on the outside, as the junior finished just 2-of-11 from the field for six points. Jalana Childs added 15 points for the Wildcats.

When asked what has to happen going forward for K-State, all Childs said was, “We have to stay together as a team.”

K-State has two regular season games remaining, including a tough road trip to Iowa State on Wednesday and the finale at Bramlage on Saturday against Texas Tech. Beyond that, K-State’s last chance to woo the NCAA tournament selection committee is at the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City March 7-10.

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