Border War takes on new meaning in women's game

The women's basketball meeting between Kansas and Missouri Saturday night took the "Border War" quite literally, with a fight after the game at midcourt. It overshadowed a strong Missouri comeback that fell only about a foot short.

`Tracy Lozier's last 3-pointer fell a foot short, and at the same time, so did Missouri's rally.

But then, after Kansas had survived for a 55-52 win, the Missouri-Kansas Border War took a whole new meaning.

The Tigers and Jayhawks finished Saturday night with a scuffle right a center court. It happened so quickly, it was hard to tell exactly who started it, but Kansas' Larisha Graves was clearly in it, as was Missouri's C'Stell N'Garsanet, whom teammate Melanie Fisher escorted off the court.

"It seems like what everyone is talking about is the end of the game," Missouri coach Cindy Stein said. "On behalf of Missouri, we apologize with anything we had to do with any kind of…I don't know what happened yet, but that's ridiculous. Our players shouldn't be anywhere near anything like that."

Kansas (8-5, 1-1 Big 12) was apparently upset about a comment freshman point guard Blair Hardiek made in the Columbia Daily Tribune about how Missouri (9-4, 0-2) was sure to beat the Jayhawks. It escalated after the game, one which Kansas had dominated for all but the last 10 minutes.

After Kansas took a 19-18 lead with 9:37 left in the first half, it never again relinquished it. With Missouri forwards Stretch James and Evan Unrau in foul trouble for much of the game, Missouri went on a nine-minute stretch without a field goal, and Kansas went into the half with a 32-24 lead. Lozier led the Tigers in the first half without the forwards on the floor. She had eight points on 3-of-8 shooting.

"I threw up some wild shots in the first half I probably shouldn't have.

The Jayhawks kept their momentum going, and led 42-27 with 14:08 left. From then on, though, Missouri made a comeback that made it seem like the Tigers could have kept their seven-game winning streak against Kansas going.

Missouri worked its way back to 46-39, and then three straight 3-pointers fought the Tigers back to 50-48. Kansas' Erica Hallman made one of two free throws to make it 50-43 with 1:49 left. On the next possession, Unrau missed a 3-pointer.

Kansas followed with a basket from Aquanita Burras on drive, but Lozier made two free throws with 42.5 seconds left to draw Missouri to 55-52. With 12.6 seconds left, Missouri forced Burras to turn it over. With one last chance, the ball went to Lozier, who took a 3-pointer from NBA range. It fell a foot short.

"I came off, and I had a had a good look, and I shot it," Lozier said. "I mean, it's disappointing."

Missouri's top three forwards combined to shoot 7-of-29, including 5-of-15 from Unrau. Lozier shot 5-of-12, but she made four of six 3-pointers.


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