Tulsa Women's Basketball Drops 88-68 Decision to Missouri in Unilever Title Game
Dec. 6, 2003
Columbia, Mo. - Tulsa senior Candice Brewer scored 21 points and pulled down a career-best 11 rebounds, but TU couldn't overcome a poor shooting performance and fell to Missouri, 88-68, in the Unilever Tiger Tournament championship game in front of 1,365 at the Hearnes Center.
Tulsa suffered its first loss of the season and fell to 3-1 in 2003, while Missouri improved to 5-1 and captured its own tournament title for the 18th time since the tournament began in 1978.
Along with Brewer, a total of three TU players reach doubles figures, including a career-high 17 points from sophomore Kara Pongonis, and 10 points from junior Sarah Lundberg. Pongonis drained 5-of-8 three-point attempts to tie her single game record. Freshman Tandem Mays came off the bench and dished out a career-best five assists. Brewer also recorded a career high for made free throws, connecting on all 12 attempts.
Tulsa shot 36.5 percent from the field, but sizzled from behind the arc, hitting 9-of-17 treys for 52.9 percent. Missouri seemed to warm up as the game wore on. The Tigers shot 42.9 percent in the opening half and then heated up in the final period, connecting on 54.8 percent of their shots.
Both teams came out on fire in the first half and the game was tied for much of the first 10 minutes. With the contest tied at 18-18 with 9:44 remaining in the first half, Missouri took the lead on a jumper by Stretch James and then reeled off an 11-4 run to lead by seven points at the 5:35 mark. Tulsa cut the deficit to four points on two free throws from Lundberg. The two teams then traded baskets, but Mizzou drained back-to-back three-pointers from Tracy Lozier and Evan Unrau. Unrau's shot bounced off the rim, hit the top of the backboard and feel through to give the Tigers a 36-27 lead with 1:40 on the clock. Brewer connected on two free throws, but a jumper by LaToya Bond increased the lead back to nine points, 38-29, at intermission.
Tulsa couldn't overcome Missouri hot offensive performance in the second half and was outscored, 50-39. The Golden Hurricane crept to within six points on a jumper by Brewer during the first minute of the game. However, Missouri responded with a 15-5 run and led 53-38 at the 15:01 mark. TU did manage to climb to within 12 points on a Pongonis three-pointer, but couldn't get any closer.
Brewer and Lundberg were both selected to the all-tournament team for the runner-up Golden Hurricane.
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