Missouri Basketball Hangs on at UCF

Josiah Schueneman, 23 Sports

Kassius Robertson and Jordan Barnett were each heavily contributors, dropping 19 points a piece, as Missouri squeaked by UCF to win 62-59 in Orlando Thursday night.

Robertson was efficient throughout the night, shooting 7 for 11 from the field and an impressive 5 of 7 from the 3-point line. Jeremiah Tilmon put up 12 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks, which included a clutch rejection with nine seconds left that helped seal the victory for the Tigers.

A.J. Davis flirted with a double-double as he led the Knights in scoring with 14 points to go along with 9 rebounds. Tacko Fall had 12 points and 6 rebounds.

UCF got off to a solid start and led for most of the first half. The Tigers struggled offensively early on, highlighted by a scoreless stretch that lasted eight minutes. However, the Knights could only muster 8 points of their own during that stretch. Because of that, the Tigers were able to climb back and tie the game at 21 after Kassius Robertson three pointer. On the next possession, he managed knock down another to give them their first lead since 7-6 near the beginning of the game. This time they did not look back, and the Tigers took a 29-24 at the half.

In the second half, Missouri was the aggressor as they led by double digits for much of the time. Despite that, UCF would not go down without a fight and pieced together a 17-9 stretch led by A.J. Davis who had seven during that stretch. Missouri’s lead was cut to just two points with under two minutes remaining

The Tigers, although, made enough plays to pull out the victory, avoiding a second consecutive collapse. Terrance Phillips had 5 points on just two shots, but those shots were the biggest of the night as they helped preserve the lead. The first shot was a banked three while the shot clock was winding down. Jordan Barnett, who’s shooting 91% from the free throw line, hit three big free throws down the stretch to put the game to bed.

There was a bizarre instance in crunch time when Jeremiah Tilmon was given a technical for entering the court during play. He was trying to substitute into the game, but didn’t realize that the ball was not called dead yet. Fortunately for Missouri, Terrell Allen would miss the ensuing free throw.

The Tigers broke a 36-game drought in true road games with the win and their next game will be at home against Miami of Ohio on Tuesday.