2:00 PM ET, February 13, 2010
COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Nebraska found itself in an unfamiliar position this season -- losing late in a game.Just as they had the previous 22 games, the Cornhuskers found a way to win.Kelsey Griffin scored 28 points and Yvonne Turner had two steals and a third key defensive play in the final minute to help Nebraska (No. 4 ESPN/USA Today, No. 3 AP) overcome a late deficit and remain unbeaten with an 82-78 win against Missouri on Saturday.Griffin added 12 rebounds for Nebraska (23-0, 10-0 Big 12). Turner and Dominique Kelley scored 19 points each for the Cornhuskers, who trailed by six points with less than 3 minutes remaining."We knew we could get it done," Nebraska coach Connie Yori said.With four of its remaining six conference games at home, Nebraska remains able to become just the second women's team to finish undefeated in the Big 12 Conference, joining the 2006 Oklahoma squad. Griffin insisted that goal is not one the players discuss."When you start to look ahead and think about what could be, things sneak up and bite you," she said.Jessra Johnson led Missouri (11-13, 1-10) with 21 points. RaeShara Brown added 14 points and Christine Flores scored 13 off the bench for the Tigers.Turner made two free throws after the first of her last-minute steals to give Nebraska a 79-78 lead with 42.6 seconds remaining. A Huskers full-court press then kept Missouri from inbounding the ball, with Turner deflecting the ball to teammate Lindsey Moore. Turner and Moore both added steals in the final seconds to keep Missouri from taking a potentially game-tying shot.Missouri had averaged just 36 points in its two previous games, conference losses to Iowa State and Kansas State. But the Tigers stayed with Nebraska until the very end, opening up an 8-point lead in the first half and outrebounding Nebraska for the game, 34-28."We weren't overlooking them at all," Griffin said of Missouri. "I don't think people give them enough credit."The game featured 10 ties and 12 lead changes. Nebraska led 41-38 at halftime after Kelley drove for a layup and added a free throw after she was fouled with 2.3 seconds remaining.Missouri coach Cindy Stein said her team lost its composure in the final minutes."For 38 minutes, I was extremely proud of our team and the way we handled the game," she said. "But we do have to finish games.""We don't like moral victories, because it's still a loss."