Marcus Thomas, 23 Sports

Saturday Missouri celebrated the careers of their four seniors; Jordan Geist, Kevin Puryear, Adam Wolf and Cullen VanLeer. The positive energy from the ceremony helped the Tigers come out strong and even take a double digit lead over a probable NCAA Tournament team before falling to the Rebels 73-68.

Ole Miss got out to a quick 13-7 lead before Mizzou went on a 27-10 run to grab a double digit lead. Ole Miss was able to whittle it down a little before half but Mizzou still had the 34-26 advantage headed into the locker room. Ole Miss cut away at lead in the second half, but Mizzou didn’t give it away easily. Seemingly every time the Rebels got close Xavier Pinson made a nifty shot right when the Tigers needed it. But near the end of the contest the Tigers’ lack of depth hurt them while Ole Miss hit some timely shots to come away with the 73-68 win.

While the celebration of the seniors was going on pregame, the actual game for the Tigers were led by the freshman combination of Xavier Pinson and Torrence Watson. Pinson had some moves that showed his strong potential on the way to a career high 20 points to go with six assists. Watson chipped in with 14 points in 39 minutes.

Ole Miss was led by the duo of the Breein Tyler and Devontae Shuler. Tyler led with 21 points and Shuler had 18 points. Shuler also was key in the Rebel comeback late in the second half.

The Rebels struggled behind the three-point line making 8 threes on 22 attempts. Meanwhile the Tigers were efficient from behind the arc, shooting 8-17 for 47 percent.

While senior night was spoiled with the loss, the potential of the young players was shown, providing evidence that the future is bright for the Tigers. From the growth shown by Torrence Watson and Xavier Pinson to the additions of Mario Mckinney and Tray Jackson, the four of them paired with Jeremiah Tilmon should be a force to be reckoned with next year in the SEC.

The Tigers will take on the Georgia Bulldogs Wednesday night to start off the SEC tournament in Nashville, TN.