This was a battle of who could be less bad shooting the ball and Missouri’s 39% shooting from the field and 28% shooting from behind the arc somehow made the Tigers the better team this night.
This game started off so bad offensively that they brought Joe Lunardi onto the telecast early in the first half and they didn’t talk much at all about the game. Instead, the discussion was about the history of the five Philadelphia programs.
Missouri led most of the game but fell behind with just under 14 minutes to play in the game. The deficit grew to six points at 45-39 with 11:46 left in the game but Missouri didn’t fold. They responded with a three-point basket from Javon Pickett off of an assist from Dru Smith when he gave up his shot for a better one.
Missouri found themselves in a tight game with under four minutes to play. This time though, the Tigers were the team to make the plays and they stretch out a lead to ten in the final couple of minutes.
As bad as this game was, Missouri got the win and learning to win is an important part of building a program. Ultimately the Tigers will need to play better for sustained success but right now every game for Missouri has a survive and advance feel to it.
Player of the Game
G Javon Pickett came off the bench to lead Missouri with 16 points. He shot 5-for-10 from the field which included 2-for-4 from behind the arc. Pickett had five rebounds.
G Dru Smith was second on the team in scoring with 12 points. He shot 3-for-6 from the field and 2-for-4 from behind the arc. Smith also led the team in rebounds with six and assists with three. Smith hit a big crossover, step-back three-pointer near the end of the first half to stretch the lead to six points at the intermission.
G Xavier Pinson didn’t do much in this game until the final two minutes. He was just 3-for-8 offensively but two of those shots came in the last couple of minutes of a tight game to give Missouri a lead they held on to for the win.
Room for Improvement
F Mitchell Smith got a start in this game but struggled offensively. He shot just 1-for-7, all from behind the arc. He was falling away from the basket on his shot and left several just short.
F Jeremiah Tilmon scored a quiet nine points. He needs to be a bigger part of the offense but that’s not him right now. When he got the ball in low on one possession he double pumped before shooting and then was blocked when he finally did go up with the shot. He seemed to lack confidence.
F Kobe Brown shot poorly in this game. He was just 2-for-7 from the field and 0-for-4 behind the arc.
Missouri is off until next Sunday when they host Southern Illinois.