By: Mike Bauer, KCOU Sports
Missouri and Illinois wrote the latest chapter of the annual Braggin’ Rights game on Saturday, and the ending did not disappoint.
Illinois senior guard Rayvonte Rice hit a buzzer-beating three-point shot over two defenders to give the Illini a 62-59 win over the Tigers at Scottrade Center. Rice finished the game with a team-high 19 points, none of which were bigger than the three that came in the final seconds. Wes Clark tied the game at 59 with a jump shot at the :22 mark, but Rice held the ball following a Missouri timeout and made a well-defended jump shot.
Clark finished with 11 points for the Tigers, while Jonathan Williams III led all Missouri scorers with 15 points and eight rebounds. D’Angelo Allen had 8 points, including two three-pointers, on 3-4 shooting. Illinois guard Ahmad Starks had 13 points, while Malcolm Hill added 10.
Turnovers proved to be costly for the Tigers, who turned the basketball over 14 times, eight of which came in the first half. Missouri was able to keep the game close by shooting 48% from the field in the second half, though mental mistakes and turnovers prevented MU from ever pulling away from the Illini in a back-and-forth game.
Missouri head coach Kim Anderson went with a smaller, more athletic lineup for most of the game, with Ryan Rosburg only playing 11 minutes despite starting and Keanu Post not playing at all. The decision seemed to pave the way for more efficiency on the offensive end for the Tigers, who have had trouble scoring the basketball for most of the young season.
Now 5-6 on the year, Missouri will have another neutral site game on December 30, when the will Tigers face Oklahoma State at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. Illinois (9-3) will return to Champaign to host Kennesaw State on December 27.