Hooper's 31 points not enough in loss.
Columbia, Mo — Jordan Hooper erupted for 28 of her career-high 31 points in the second half to help Nebraska erase a 17-point halftime deficit and take a one-point lead. But Missouri rallied to make enough plays down the stretch to escape with a 76-69 win over the Huskers at Mizzou Arena on Wednesday night.
Nebraska slipped to 12-9 overall and 2-5 in the Big 12, while Missouri improved to 11-11 and 3-5 in the league.
Hooper hit six of her Nebraska school-record-tying seven three-pointers in the second half to bring NU all the way back from a 39-22 halftime deficit. Hooper's 25-foot three-pointer from the top of the key gave the Huskers a 60-59 lead with 4:17 left.
But MU senior guard RaeShara Brown answered Hooper's huge second half by scoring 12 straight points in the final three minutes to keep the Huskers at bay. Hooper, a 6-2 freshman forward from Alliance, Neb., kept scoring as well, scoring seven straight points for NU after the Huskers fell behind 68-62, trimming the MU edge to 73-69 with her record-tying seventh three with 19.9 seconds left.
But Brown and the rest of the Tigers made enough plays to win. Brown finished with a team-high 25 points, including 22 in the second half to lead the Tigers. Sydney Crafton added a career-high 19 points of her own, including 17 in the first half, while tying her career-best with 12 rebounds to help MU.
Shakara Jones, who hit the shot to give Mizzou the lead back at 61-60, finished with 11 points and six boards.
Lindsey Moore helped the Huskers with 18 points, including nine in each half, while pitching in six assists while playing all 40 minutes.
For the game, Nebraska hit just 33.8 percent (24-71) of its shots from the field, but connected on 11-of-28 threes (39.3 percent), including 9-of-20 in the second half. Hooper went 7-of-12 from long range. NU hit 10-of-12 free throws, but were outscored 15-10 at the line by the Tigers. MU also outrebounded Nebraska, 45-39, and matched the Huskers in the turnover department at 10.
Missouri outshot NU by hitting 27-of-63 attempts (42.9 percent), including 7-of-20 three-pointers (35 percent). MU also connected on 15-of-21 free throws.
Nebraska got off to a solid start, leading the game for most of the first 10 minutes, the last time coming on a Moore jumper with 10:58 left to make it 18-15.
However, Hooper was whistled for her second foul with 10:21 left, and without the NU freshman on the floor, Nebraska was outscored 24-4 to close the half.
Hooper, who hit an early three and grabbed a pair of rebounds, played just seven minutes in the first half. Moore led the Huskers with nine first-half points but went just 4-of-12 from the field. Catheryn Redmon and Katya Leick each added four first-half points, but combined to go just 4-of-13 from the floor, as NU
Crafton did the most damage during the run, scoring 10 points in the final 9:47, including a three-pointer to tie it at 18 and five straight points to turn a 23-20 edge into a 28-20 lead with just over five minutes left. Crafton finished the half with 17 points and seven rebounds, while hitting 7-of-9 shots from the field, including both of her three-point attempts. Crafton, a 5-10 sophomore, entered the game averaging 6.4 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
Freshman Trenee Thornton added six first-half points on a pair of three-pointers, while Missouri's top three scorers - Brown, Jones and Flores combined for just 11 points and went just 5-of-16 from the field.
In the second half, Hooper brought the Huskers back, hitting three straight threes in the first 2:45 to cut the Missouri margin to 41-31. Moore and Jessica Periago then hit threes to trim MU's edge to 43-37 with 14:55 left. A Hooper three cut the margin to 45-40 with 14:04 left, before Missouri settled down and restored a double-digit lead.
Missouri led 59-48 with 7:41 left, before freshman Kellie McCann-Smith scored five straight points and Hooper added five straight of her own to give NU a 60-59 edg with 4:17 left.
Nebraska continues Big 12 road action on Sunday when the Huskers travel to Boulder to battle Colorado. Tip-off between the Huskers and Buffaloes is set for 3 p.m. (central) with live national television coverage provided by Fox Sports Net. The game can also be heard live on the Husker Sports Network, including a free live audio broadcast on Huskers.com.
Source: University of Nebraska Athletic Dept.