By: Brett Johnson, KCOU Sports
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Mizzou entered a home contest and never lead, while they watched players come off the bench and score more than their own starters.
The trend continued on Saturday, as the Xavier Musketeers entered the Mizzou Arena and commanded the floor the entire 40 minutes, never surrendering the lead and taking down the Tigers 74-58. Their lead was as close as one point, and as wide as 20. The Tigers had no answers for starting guard Dee Davis, who was the Musketeers leading scorer with 17 points, going 6-9 from the field, and a perfect 4 for 4 at the free throw line. Off the bench, Brandon Randolph and Myles Davis each scored 11 off the bench. Xavier kept the pressure on the Tigers the whole game, playing full court press defense the whole way.
The Tigers looked sluggish throughout the contest, shooting especially poor from three-point land, not making a single shot from behind the arc in the second half on eleven attempts, and making only one of five in the first. The teams leading scorer, Jonathan Williams III, was able to supply some offense for Mizzou, scoring 17 points and pulling down 5 offensive rebounds, but the big story from this contest was the strong showing from freshman forward Jakeenan Gant. Gant came off the bench and performed at a very high level, scoring 13 points, blocking two shots, and getting one steal in 15 minutes of play. He was also responsible for the team’s only three-point field goal of the game.
The Tigers fall back to .500 (5-5) on the year after this game, and are looking ahead to a contest with the Illinois Fighting Illini in St. Louis for “Braggin’ Rights.”