Missouri beats Wisconsin for first tourney win since '86
Updated: Friday March 16, 2001 10:43 PM
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- After winning its first NCAA women's tournament game in 15 years, Missouri didn't want to dwell on the achievement.
Amanda Lassiter scored 20 points, including the go-ahead basket with 1:32 remaining, and the Tigers rallied for a 71-68 victory against Wisconsin in the first round of the East Regional on Friday.
Missouri, making its first NCAA appearance since 1994, scored the final 10 points to win in the tournament for the first time since a one-point victory over Arkansas in 1986.
"It was significant for us," head coach Cindy Stein said. "But our plans are to continue. We want to get another one. We are greedy."
Missouri, which has never advanced past the second round, will play Sunday against the winner of the Georgia-Liberty game.
Lassiter, who sat out 12 minutes in the second half after picking up her fourth foul, put the Tigers ahead for good on a slick pump fake and drive to make it 69-68. She led the 10th-seeded Tigers (21-9) with 20 points in only 20 minutes.
Marlena Williams added 16 points and Kerensa Barr 13.
"We've always been known to entertain," Stein said. "Our defense made the right adjustments when it counted. We got some key baskets down the stretch from a variety of people. That's been the key to our season."
Wisconsin (18-10), the No. 7 seed, led by as many as 10 in the first half and appeared to be in control when a 13-2 run pushed the Badgers ahead 64-56 with 6:26 remaining. But they failed to score a field goal after Jessie Stomski's basket with 5:07 to go.
"Actually, it wasn't a big concern," Stein said. "Our team has been able to handle these type of situations. We practice this all the time. The knowledge was there of what we needed to do."
Stomski led Wisconsin with 29 points and 11 rebounds. The Badgers' final points came with just under four minutes left when Nina Smith hit a pair of free throws for a 68-61 lead.
After Lassiter's basket put Missouri ahead, Wisconsin's Tamara Moore made two key mistakes. She was called for a charging foul against Barr, then gave up a steal to Williams.
In between, Williams hit a pair of free throws with 30.5 seconds left. Wisconsin's LaTonya Sims missed badly on a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The Badgers committed 21 turnovers.
"The last fourth of the game, we weren't the team I wanted us
to be," Wisconsin head coach Jane Albright said. "Jessie was just
phenomenal. We shot well and outrebounded them. We just didn't take
care of the ball."