Missouri shot 33% from the field including 24% from the three-point line and somehow pushed #21 Xavier to overtime before falling 63-58. That’s because Xavier shot 33% from the field and 14% from behind the arc themselves. It was an ugly game for both teams. The defense was good but it wasn’t that good to force such poor shooting. The poor shooting was more about these teams just not making shots than it was great defense. Missouri had chances late in regulation to win the game but just wasn’t able to finish. Xavier controlled overtime.
This was a disappointing loss for Missouri with Xavier shooting so poorly. The loss drops the Tigers to 2-1 on the season. Playing in a close game like this on the road should help Missouri in the long run. It would have been a nice win to have on the resume, especially since the Tigers had a chance to win the game late.
G Dru Smith scored 22 points and pulled down ten rebounds to lead Missouri in both categories. Smith also led the Tigers in assists with four. He shot just 6-for-16 from the field but was 2-for-4 from the three-point line and 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Smith made some poor shot decisions at times but nobody else on Missouri was doing much of anything on offense other than Dru and Xavier Pinson.
G Xavier Pinson came off the bench to score nine points on 4-for-11 shooting. Although his shooting percentage was terrible, Pinson helped lead the Tigers in the second half along with Dru Smith. With Missouri struggling to score, Pinson attacked the basket for some big points down the stretch.
Room for Improvement
F Jeremiah Tilmon actually shot the ball well, going 4-for-5 from the field, but was overall disappointing in this game. Early foul trouble kept Tilmon on the bench for most of the first half. Tilmon finished with just 23 minutes played. In those 23 minutes he was unfortunately still able to foul four times.
Cuonzo Martin had Tray Jackson in the game in overtime for some unknown reason and it hurt the Tigers. With Missouri down 54-51, Tray Jackson had a turnover and then a foul which helped Xavier stretch the lead to 56-51. Jackson is a freshman and not one ready to play in a tight game like this. The decision to put Jackson in the game in this situation was a mistake.
Missouri is off until Monday when they host Wofford in Columbia.