Neither team’s offense looked all that great, but the Tigers were ice cold from deep and did not have a playmaker like Wichita State did, and that proved to be the difference.
Following a win over SMU and a loss to Florida State in Jacksonville, Missouri returned home to take on the Wichita State Shockers in a pivotal non-conference battle. The Shockers have been a consistent contender in the American conference and are projected to be a tournament team this season, making this is an opportunity for Mizzou to pick up a resume-building win.
The game trended in Wichita State’s direction early. The Shockers started out hot from the perimeter and had the Tiger defense on its heels. Tyson Etienne got out to a hot start, which was something no Mizzou player or coach wanted to see based on the scouting report.
Kobe Brown and Amari Davis got the offense going with three straight buckets to cut the lead down to seven. Still, at the under 12, the offense was showing no signs of improvement over past weeks.
Slowly but surely, things improved. Boogie Coleman went on a mini-run, and operating with Brown/Ronnie DeGray III at the 5 spot seemed to open things up more on the offensive side of the floor.
The offense then went back to being sloppy, but some great hustle play kept the Tigers in the game. DeGray stole a possession off a player’s leg and then drew a charge, while Yaya Keita had a couple of key offense rebounds and a monster block. Javon Pickett closed out a run for the Tigers with an and-one in transition. Mizzou had a chance to tie after trailing throughout much of the half.
The offense went cold again, but the defense continued to keep the Tigers in the game and offer them easy buckets. Javon Pickett and Kobe Brown both benefitted from run-outs off of steals.
The game was set at 26-23 entering the halftime break. Neither offense had been efficient, but each had their own period of success.
The second half started out slow, as neither team found much of a rhythm. Then, Etienne got the Shockers back into a groove, and they began to expose the small-ball lineup of Mizzou in the paint.
The Tiger offense continued to be stagnant, as turnovers and poor shot quality plagued the Tigers. Every shot was coming at a premium, while the Shockers began to get dunks at the other end of the floor.
Wichita State controlled the flow of the game into the under eight timeout. Despite the Tigers hitting their first two 3s of the game, the Shockers still led by eight.
The score line largely did not change the rest of the game, as the Missouri offense was incapable of mounting any form of comeback.
Wichita State would stave away the Tigers behind their free throw shooting. The final score would read 61-55 in favor of Wichita State.
The Shocker defense was solid, but Missouri yet again was ice cold from deep and got no easy shots. Amari Davis was the lone bright spot with a team-leading 17 points, but it again was the offense that held this team back. There were too many scoring droughts for a team to win any game, much less one against a quality opponent like the Shockers.
Missouri now sits at 3-3 overall. The Tigers will host Paul Quinn College in Monday, Nov. 29th, on SEC Network+.