Turnovers hurt as Mizzou bas­ket­ball drops sec­ond straight SEC game

The Kansas City Star - - Sports - BY ALEX SCHIF­FER as­chif­[email protected]­star.com

Not even Mother Na­ture could help fix Mis­souri’s is­sues on the bas­ket­ball court.

De­spite play­ing at South Carolina a day later than planned be­cause of weather-re­lated travel is­sues, the Tigers dropped their sec­ond straight game, los­ing 85-75 to the Game­cocks. Mis­souri com­mit­ted 20 turnovers, which led to 33 South Carolina points on Sun­day at Colo­nial Life Arena.

Fresh­man Javon Pick­ett dropped in a ca­reer-high 21 points while Mark Smith and Jor­dan Geist each had 14 for the Tigers (9-5, 0-2 SEC).

South Carolina (8-7, 3-0 SEC) had five play­ers score in dou­ble­fig­ures, in­clud­ing vet­eran Has­sani Gravett, who scored all 12 of his points from the free-throw line. Gravett didn’t miss a shot from the char­ity stripe.

Mis­souri’s first half went much like most of its oth­ers this sea­son, rid­dled with turnovers, long scor­ing droughts and Jeremiah Til­mon in foul trou­ble. After play­ing just nine min­utes in MU’s blowout loss to No. 3 Ten­nessee on Tues­day, the 6-foot-10 sopho­more cen­ter picked up his first foul 19 sec­onds into the game. Til­mon played just seven min­utes in the first half after pick­ing up his sec­ond foul.

The Tigers still man­aged to keep pace with the Game­cocks for most of the half. Fresh­man Tor­rence Wat­son showed more ag­gres­sion and scored seven points in the first half. Se­nior Jor­dan Geist hit a pair of clutch shots that tied the score at 16-16 and 19-19.

But 11 first-half turnovers led to 16 points for South Carolina. Mis­souri was called for trav­el­ing mul­ti­ple times and re­peat­edly coughed up the ball while driv­ing through the lane. The Tigers went 5:45 with­out scor­ing late in the first half and shot just four free throws in the first 20 min­utes while USC shot 19. A pair of late threes from Mark Smith helped MU go into half­time down 42-36.

“They do what they do,” Mizzou coach Cuonzo Martin said of South Carolina’s de­fense. “They did a good job of pres­sur­ing us.”

South Carolina came out of half­time with an 8-0 run, prompt­ing Martin to call time­out. The Tigers re­sponded with

an 8-0 run. Kevin Puryear, a Blue Springs South grad­u­ate, hit a layup while be­ing fouled and con­verted the three-point play, which cut the deficit to 61-58 with 9:41 left.

Mis­souri strug­gled to keep the score close after los­ing Til­mon for good with 12:57 left. Til­mon picked up his third and fourth fouls just 2:17 apart be­fore foul­ing out while an­gling for po­si­tion with USC star for­ward Chris Silva. Til­mon fin­ished with just four points in 13 min­utes.

After the game, Martin said it wasn’t Silva’s vet­eran sta­tus that en­abled him to foul out Til­mon, but more of the same prob­lems from the sec­ond-year big man.

“It’s more Jeremiah,” Martin said. “He plays the same way re­gard­less of who the op­po­nent is. We just have con­tinue to help Jeremiah to where he’s a pro­duc­tive mem­ber of our team.”

With Til­mon gone, Silva went right after backup cen­ter Reed Nikko and had his way, fin­ish­ing with 14 points and three blocks. Mis­souri strug­gled to guard Silva and fel­low USC for­ward Keyshawn Bryant, who fin­ished with a team-high 15 points.

Pick­ett hit a three with three min­utes left, which cut the deficit to 73-70, but Mis­souri gave up a pair of threes on the next two pos­ses­sions. One of the Game­cocks’ threes came from sopho­more Felipe Haase, who was a re­cruit­ing tar­get of for­mer coach Kim An­der­son’s staff. Haase fin­ished with 12 points and five re­bounds.

Mis­souri’s next game is at 8 p.m. Wed­nes­day against Alabama (10-5). Alex Schif­fer: 816-234-4064, @TheSchif­fMan

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.