Just because this was a tournament game doesn’t mean that the path to victory for Missouri changed.
There wasn’t anything that really stood out in this game. Sometimes in the tournament, one team plays way above or way below its average game. That wasn’t the case here. These were two equal teams that played a tight game. Oklahoma was just a little better in this one. I think these two teams would split a ten-game series five to five. Unfortunately for Missouri, the NCAA tournament is one and out.
Against good teams, Missouri needs Dru Smith, Xavier Pinson, and Jeremiah Tilmon to play well to win. Missouri got good games out of two of those guys.
Dru Smith scored 22 points on 6-for-15 shooting, 6-for-11 behind the arc. Tilmon scored 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting and had 12 rebounds. Mark Smith even had a nice game which we haven’t seen a lot this season. Mark Smith was 3-for-5 from behind the arc and scored 11 points in the game. Mark Smith hit two of his three three-point shots before the first media timeout. He had just one more basket the rest of the game.
One major problem in this game was that Xavier Pinson, who struggled the last few weeks, struggled once again. He was just 1-for-7 from the field for two points. If Pinson has just a decent game, the Tigers probably advance. But this is the Xavier Pinson we have seen recently.
And Missouri had a hard time slowing down the three scorers Oklahoma had on the court. Austin Reaves (23 points), Brady Manek (19 points), and Elijah Harmless (16 points) carried the Sooners.