Shooting woes continue as Tigers fall

Shooting woes continue as Tigers fall

Photo by Isaac Jahns

Erik Kase, 23 Sports

Tuesday, February 21—

Coming off a 20-point loss to Tennessee, Missouri returned to Columbia for a highly anticipated matchup with the 11th-ranked Kentucky Wildcats. Mizzou (7-20, 2-13 SEC) struggled to put the ball in the basket and fell 72-62.

Missouri started the game fast and jumped out to a quick 7-3 lead off three made baskets. Terrence Phillips was active early as he had a steal and a 3-pointer within the first 90 seconds of the game. The opening stages of the game produced many missed buckets, as neither team could establish a large lead.

Jordan Barnett brought the crowd to life as he blocked a Malik Monk jumper and drove it right down the middle for a huge slam dunk. This cut the Kentucky lead to one point with under 15 minutes left in the first half. Mizzou and Kentucky went at a very fast pace as the ball was being moved around quite well. A Phillips feed inside to freshman Reed Nikko resulted in a slam dunk for Nikko and a two-point lead for the Tigers. The first half came to a close as the score was 31-30 in favor of Kentucky.

The second half did not go as well as the first for Missouri, as Kentucky built themselves a seven-point lead before K.J. Walton made a layup with 17:28 left in the half. Missouri went nearly four minutes between field goals in the second half, but kept the deficit near four points. A layup by Barnett with 7:42 left brought the score to 52 all and it brought the crowd to its feet once again. That would be the closest Mizzou would get for the remainder of the game, as Kentucky put the game out of reach when Derek Willis slam dunked with 1:43 left to put Kentucky up 10.

Missouri did not convert their free throws and struggled to find their rhythm from the 3-point line. The Tigers shot 60.9 percent from the free throw line, including only one make in five tries in the first half. Mizzou also made only four of their 22 3-pointers on the night, shooting at an 18.2 percent clip. Phillips scored a game high 22 points and went 8-for-8 at the free throw line. Edrice “Bam” Adebayo of Kentucky also scored 22 points to go along with his 15 rebounds.

Missouri will look to rebound from this shooting performance as they travel to Oxford, Mississippi, to take on Ole Miss on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. and can be seen on the SEC Network.