Turnovers doom MU in loss at Iowa State

The Kansas City Star - - College Basketball - BY ALEX SCHIF­FER as­chif­fer@kc­star.com

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.


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