ATHENS, Ga. (AP) When the final horn sounded, Kelly Miller buckled over as if she had been punched in the stomach. Coco Miller gnawed at her jersey and fought back tears as she trotted off the court.
For Georgia”s twin stars, the last college game was a most loss.
Amanda Lassiter scored 22 points and 10th-seeded Missouri upset the second-seeded Bulldogs 78-65 yesterday in the second of the NCAA East Regional.
The Bulldogs (27-6) felt they deserved a No. 1 seed but couldn”t even get by the subregional on their home court.
Missouri (22-9) snapped Georgia”s 24-game winning streak at Stegeman Coliseum and became the first road team to win an game at Athens since 1990.
“The whole team played hard,” Coco Miller said, choking with emotion at the postgame news conference. “It”s just too bad it to end like this.”
The Millers made it to the Final Four as sophomores but never got back. The Bulldogs were beaten in the regional final a year and then watched Missouri pull away in the second half to Georgia the most surprising NCAA loss in school history.
“I just don”t think we were playing up to our potential at all,” said Kelly, a two-time All-American who started all 131 games her college career. “We never had a great game this year.”
Sitting side-by-side in the locker room, the Millers said it was early to ponder the next stage in their lives. They have always played together youth leagues, high school, four years at Georgia but there”s no guarantee they”ll wind up on the same team in the WNBA.
“We haven”t really spoken about that,” Coco said. “We don”t have to say much. We know what the other one is thinking.”
Kelly Miller was held to 11 points on 5-for-16 shooting, while her sister made only five of 15 attempts for10 points.
Missouri moved on to the regional semifinals at Pittsburgh, advancing to the third round for the first time in school history.
“We came in confident, knowing we could compete with Georgia,” Lassiter said. “We didn”t want to seem timid. We wanted to get them out of their comfort zone and control the tempo.”
Lassiter hit four 3-pointers and had seven rebounds and six steals. Marlena Williams added 19 points for the Tigers, who until this year had not won an NCAA game since 1986.
“I”m not really big on history myself,” coach Cindy Stein said. “This has more to do with the present. We don”t want to be satisfied with this game.”
Missouri led 35-33 at the half and slowly pulled away to a 57-44 lead on Evan Unrau”s basket with 8:51 remaining.
Georgia cut the deficit to 57-52, but Williams converted a three-point play after Lassiter stole an outlet pass off a rebound.
“It was huge,” Stein said. “Pep (Williams” nickname) has been playing like that all year. The prime-time players were on the floor.”
Lassiter followed with a 3-pointer to push the lead back to double figures and the Bulldogs never got closer than eight points.