Losing streak extends to seven as Mizzou falls to Ole Miss 67-47

By Joey Gjata, 23 Sports

Saturday, Jan. 31–

Coming off a draining loss to No. 1 Kentucky less than 48 hours ago, the Missouri Tigers men’s basketball team failed to play with the same intensity that electrified a packed Mizzou Arena Thursday night.

The Tigers fell behind early, and Ole Miss went on to win comfortably 67-47 extending its SEC winning streak to four.

Mizzou came out flat and looked fatigued after its matchup against the Wildcats, but was able to keep it close in the opening ten minutes. The Tigers scored by committee in the first half but only shot 30 percent from the field, including only 2/13 from downtown.

The Rebels struggled in the early going as well, committing three quick turnovers. However, their unorthodox combination of a pressing one-three-one to a two-three zone forced Missouri to shoot a number of ill-advised shots and more importantly turn the ball over four times, all leading to scores on the other end.

Mizzou head coach Kim Anderson gave freshman guard Namon Wright a start in hope of sparking the Tigers from behind the arc. Wright went 0-4 from the field and his backup, freshman Montaque Gill-Caesar, equally struggled scoring only four points. The two combined for a dismal 0-8 from distance.

The final ten minutes were controlled by Mississippi and in particular, junior guard Stefan Moody. The 5’10” floor general averaging a team high 15.6 points per game sparked the Rebels with 13 first half points, including a perfect six for six from the foul line.

Overall, Mississippi out-rebounded Missouri on both ends of the floor leading to 14 points in the paint to help secure a double digit 37-25 lead at half.

Early on in the second half, the trend continued as the Rebels controlled the game on both sides of the ball, but weren’t able to put the Tigers to sleep initially. After a career high 19 points in 35 minutes against Kentucky, Wes Clark hit a big transition three pointer midway through the second to cut the lead to single digits. Unfortunately for Missouri, that shot would be the last of Clark’s eight points.

After Rebel head coach Andy Kennedy called a timeout to calm the crowd and his guys down, it was Moody who continued to relentlessly impose his will on the exhausted Mizzou defense by attacking the basket and earning trips to the foul line.

The Florida native hit all ten of his foul shots and finished the day with 23 points and five rebounds. Mississippi guard Jarvis Summers also played a role in dismantling Mizzou this afternoon, scoring only five points but tallying eight assists and three boards.

Overall, the Tigers struggled to develop any rhythm and the atrocious 6-25 from the three point line and 31 percent shooting from the field didn’t help the cause. Neither guard Keith Shamburger nor forward Johnathan Williams III could make an impact in the second half.

Shamburger did live up to his SEC best 4.6 assist/turnover ratio with six dimes and no turnovers, however, the Hawaii transfer only scored six points on two threes coming early in both halves. Williams III finished with 14 points and seven rebounds with six of those points coming off two late threes in garbage time.

A big concern for Mizzou remains with Gill-Caesar. The freshman has been making his way back from injury but since his return, he has scored in double digits only once, averaging 5.6 points per game and a disappointing 2.4 turnovers per game.

With the loss, Missouri drops to 7-14 on the year and are now riding a seven game losing skid after their sole victory in SEC play against LSU. Mizzou is back in action against 13-7 Alabama this Wednesday, Feb. 4, in Tuscaloosa. Tip off is set for 8 p.m.