Turnovers doom MU in loss at Iowa State
On Tuesday, Cuonzo Martin said he enjoyed playing big road games early in the season as a test to see where his team was at, but with a deviation.
“Not like we did at Utah last year,” Martin said. “Not like that.”
Friday night was déjà vu for Martin and MU as the Tigers fell 76-59 to its old Big 12 foe Iowa State. The Tigers had 25 turnovers, a recurring problem from last season’s team, to go along with 43 percent shooting and 26 fouls in a lackluster performance. A year ago the Tigers fell 77-59 at Utah.
Missouri and Iowa State used to square off regularly in the Big 12 and before that the Big 8, before Missouri moved on to the SEC. Friday’s game was the 235th meeting between the two schools.
On Friday, Illinois transfer Mark Smith led Missouri with 15 points and seven rebounds in a game where the Tigers outrebounded Iowa State 35-26 but handed the Cyclones 25 points off of turnovers. Missouri had more turnovers (25) than field goals (19).
Virginia grad transfer Marial Shayok led Iowa State with 20 points and was one of four Cyclones players in double-figures.
Early on, it looked like Missouri would be in decent shape. Poor shooting and rebounding by the Cyclones allowed Missouri to capitalize in that early going. Iowa State opened the game on 4-for-15 shooting and despite a quick 4-0 lead, the Tigers had plenty of opportunities offensively.
Freshman Xavier Pinson drained a three out of the under-16 timeout to give MU its first lead of the night, a 7-4 advantage with 15 minutes left. Iowa State quickly countered with a three of its own by freshman Tyrese Haliburton, who was starting in place of injured Cyclones star Lindell Wigginton. Wigginton has a foot injury. It was after Pinson’s three that Missouri’s turnover troubles began to mount.
Pinson, a gifted passer, threw two no-look passes to his teammates when they weren’t ready. Both resulted in turnovers and were part of the 15 MU had in the first half. Mitchell Smith gave Missouri a small lead off a feed from Jordan Geist to make the score 12-10 with 12 minutes remaining in the first half. A layup from Mark Smith extended the lead to 14-10, but MU gave it right back as Iowa State tied the game at 14-14.
After freshman Talen Horton-Tucker drilled a three that gave Iowa State a 22-20 lead at 4:51, Geist immediately responded with a three of his own to give MU the lead back.
But Missouri’s troubles began to mount. Cyclones guard Zion Griffin hit a three-pointer out of the final media timeout of the first half to spark a 12-2 Iowa State run to close out the first half. Tigers coach Cuonzo Martin was forced to play senior Kevin Puryear and freshman Torrence Watson with two fouls. Watson was Missouri’s scoring leader in the first half with seven points.
Missouri struggled to get the ball to Jermeiah Tilmon, who had 16 points in Tuesday’s win over Central Arkansas. Iowa State coach Steve Prohm said the gameplan was to double-team Tilmon in the post and keep the ball away from him. Prohm’s plan worked as Tilmon was limited to just five points and seven rebounds on just four shots.
“They really try to get it to Tilmon,” Prohm said. “If you can get him off his sweet spot, because if he can get a paint touch he’s really tough to guard. We wanted to get him off the block and bring the fire.”
Following Griffin’s three, Nick Weiler-Babb added a pair of layups and Griffin had one also that extended Iowa State’s lead to 29-25.
IOWA STATE 76 MISSOURI 59