By Aidan Johnson
In one of their most intense battles of the season, the Missouri Tigers Men’s Basketball team rallied late in the second half to fuel an overtime win against the TCU Horned Frogs.
The game, which finished 102-98, saw Missouri trailing by as much as 12 points late in the second half before Xavier Pinson and Jeremiah Tilmon caught fire to draw the Tigers back even.
The duo each scored their career high in points, with Pinson scoring 36 and Tilmon adding 33 himself.
“X is one of those guys: he practices and works on his game all the time. He is at his best when he is shooting rhythm threes. I am not shocked at the 36 points,” said Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin.
Pinson hit eight three-pointers over the course of the game, finishing 10 for 19 from the field and 8 for 9 from the free-throw line.
Early in the first half though, it was Jeremiah Tilmon who was the source of offense for the Tigers. The senior forward had 17 points in the opening frame, shooting 8 for 9 from the field.
Martin was not surprised by this performance either.
“Well, I just think it has been a different Jeremiah ever since the Bradley game. He has realized he is just as good as any big. If you defend him one on one, I am taking those chances all night.”
The other standout player for Missouri was the other starting forward, Kobe Brown. Brown finished the game with 13 rebounds (the team lead), but more importantly, he had two huge steals down the stretch.
“I just wanna win, especially after a season like last year. Having an opportunity to win like we do this year; we have to take advantage of it because who knows if the seniors will be able to be back next year,” said Brown.
The afternoon matchup almost ended in disaster for the Tigers though, as they trailed almost the entire second half.
TCU was able to capture and hold a lead due to scoring from a multitude of sources and freshman guard Mike Miles finished the game with 28 points, while Charles O’Bannon added 17 and RJ Nembhard scored 15 as well.
The turning point of the game though, was when TCU starting center Kevin Samuel fouled out.
“I mean, he was their bigger big, and once he got fouled out, I knew we had to take advantage of the new matchup and just keep playing the game,” said Tilmon
From that point on, the Tigers played with increased confidence and never looked back.
Missouri finished the second half with a 19-7 run, and Xavier Pinson hit the game-tying three-pointer with 3.8 seconds left in regulation.
“I gotta make that shot, that is really it. That is what was going through my head. Kobe grabbed the rebound and found me wide open,” said Pinson.
For the Tigers, the win moves them to 11-3 on the season. They play two games this coming week, the first against Kentucky, and the second against the top team in the SEC, Alabama.
The Tigers know there is room for improvement though, especially defensively.
“The game was real sloppy defensively, but we all know what we need to work on. When we get back on the court, we will work, and we will be ready for next week,” said Pinson.
Tuesday night is when the matchup against Kentucky will take place, as the Wildcats will travel to COMO. Missouri will look to continue building their impressive resume then.
Edited by Emma Moloney