The Missouri Tigers Men’s Basketball team came into Wednesday’s matchup against the 19th ranked Auburn Tigers with a 13-6 record, going 3-3 in SEC conference games. The Missouri Tigers, led by Head Coach Cuonzo Martin, were coming off a loss to Texas A&M, where they scored a season low 49 points, and pushed their streak of scoring less than 70 points in a game to four.
Coach Martin has been looking to infiltrate a Golden State Warriors, three point based, offensive attack. Which is shown by the 172 made threes coming into this game, second most ever through 19 games in school history.
But, as the saying goes, you live and you die by the three, which is what the Missouri Tigers did against Auburn.
The Missouri Tigers started off the game with a slow, 0-4 start from the field, including 0-2 from the three, until Jordan Barnett drained a three in the opening minutes. Jordan’s three started a quick 8-0 run that put the Tigers up early and got the Mizzou Arena crowd roaring.
However, Auburn played an effective full court defense for nearly the entirety of the game, garnering eight blocks in just the first half of the contest. Despite being held to 37% and being out-rebounded 28-15 by Mizzou, the Auburn Tigers were able to force 10 turnovers and shoot 11-12 from the free throw line to take a five point lead into the half.
The Missouri Tigers looked much like a Kim Anderson coached basketball team from the last few years, coming out absolutely flat on offense in the second half, which led to the lazy play on defense. The Tigers scored one basket in the first four minutes of the second half, and had four turnovers in as many minutes. Freshman forward, Jeremiah Tilmon picked up his fourth foul in the first three minutes of the second half and sat the rest of the night, after only playing seven minutes in the game.
Jordan Barnett was the one bright spot on the shooting chart for Mizzou, putting up 19 points while draining 5 of his 8 threes and shooting 70% from the field. Graduate Transfer Kassius Robertson led Mizzou in scoring with 21 points, drilling all six of his free throws.
Jared Harper led the charge in the second half for Auburn as they pulled away from Mizzou, having a 20 point lead at one point in the second half. Harper was a perfect 4-4 from three in the second half, scoring 18 of his 21 points in the half. That made Harper one of five Auburn Tigers to score in double digits.
Mizzou’s defense completely collapsed allowing Auburn to shoot over 50% from the field and 50% from three in the second half. While Mizzou’s new three point based offense fell short after taking 30 three point shots out of their 54 shots from the field.
With this 91-73 home loss to the #19th ranked Auburn Tigers, Mizzou falls to 13-7 on the year and 3-4 in the SEC. This also marks Missouri’s second home loss of the year, with the previous coming to Florida. The Missouri Tigers will look to get back to .500 in SEC games this Saturday at Mississippi State.