Missouri ladies upends KU in Lawrence

The future is looking bright for the Lady Tigers. In fact, the present is looking even brighter. Natalie Bright is fast becoming one of the most feared players in the conference after putting up 27 points on Kansas in Lawrence.

Natalie Bright just had a feeling during Saturday's Big 12 Conference women's basketball game between the University of Missouri and the University of Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse. "It was just one of those things," said Bright, who finished with a career-high 27 points. "When the ball came off (my fingers), I knew it was going in. I wish I had a game like that everyday." Missouri needed Bright's offense, particularly in the first half, as the Tigers recorded a 66-48 victory over Kansas. The win was Missouri's fourth straight over KU. While Bright had the hot hand in the first half, backcourt mate Kerensa Barr had the scoring touch in the second half, netting all 20 of her points in the final 20 minutes. Barr had 10 of those points come during a 16-0 run which blew open the game for MU. Barr scored to break a 28-28 tie with 16 minutes and 14 seconds remaining and then sank a 3-point field goal at 12:17 to cap the run. Bright scored 17 first-half points as she and Evan Unrau combined to score the Tigers' first 19 points. Bright had 14 of those points while Unrau added five. Those two scored all but two of Missouri's 24 first-half points. Both teams could not pull away from the other, despite the Tigers not scoring for six minutes and three seconds during the opening stanza. The teams kept trading baskets in the early going as the game was tied five times before Bright sank a pair of foul shots to give MU a 24-22 halftime edge. "We rushed our shots," said Bright. "Both teams played the same kind of game in the first half." In the second half, Missouri rode the offensive output of Barr, who also had a game-high six assists. She also made all four of her free throws to push her made streak to 21 and her season mark to 73-of-78 (93.6 percent). Barr scored inside and outside in the second half as she got her game untracked on the offensive end. "I just tried to shoot better shots," she said. "I didn't worry about what happened in the first half. As far as shooting, I tried to keep shooting. I got some open looks and was able to knock them down." Wannette Smith came in off of the bench to score eight points, all in the second half. She also had four rebounds. Unrau, who scored seven points, had a game-high and season-best 11 rebounds. Kansas was led by Selena Scott's 19 points. The Tigers improved to 11-3 overall and 2-1 in the Big 12. Missouri plays Nebraska at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Hearnes Center.

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