Missouri men’s basketball can’t finish comeback in 65-63 road loss to Arkansas

Despite overcoming an 18-point deficit, Missouri came up short in the conference loss.

Jordan Geist drives past Arkansas defenders in a game on February 7, 2017. Maneater File Photo

Missouri fans had a bad case of deja vu in Saturday’s game against the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Like last Saturday’s 77-75 loss to Florida, the Tigers found themselves in a tight contest.

Like last week, they had a chance to win the game as the final seconds ticked away.

And like last week, Missouri came up short.

Missouri (12-5, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) fell in a hard-fought battle on the road to the Arkansas Razorbacks (12-5, 2-3 SEC) on Saturday, 65-63 at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Trailing by 18 points midway through the first half, the Tigers used an 18-7 scoring run to trim Arkansas’ lead to seven points at halftime.

Foul trouble struck Missouri in the second half. Junior guard Terrence Phillips picked up four fouls, and freshman center Jeremiah Tilmon and freshman forward Jontay Porter both fouled out.

Graduate transfer guard Kassius Robertson had the best game of his Missouri career so far, scoring 26 points off 6-of-11 3-point shooting. Led by Robertson, Missouri went on a 15-2 run in the second half to establish as much as a six-point lead with five minutes remaining.

Down the stretch, the Tigers had a tough time handling Arkansas’ experienced players running a nationally recognized press defense, and they turned the ball over 16 times as a result.

Costly offensive fouls on key offensive possessions gave Arkansas opportunities for clutch baskets in the final few minutes and ultimately allowed the Razorbacks to take a late lead. Trailing 65-63 with 13 seconds remaining in the second half, Missouri had a chance to win the game, but Arkansas swarmed junior guard Jordan Geist, whose 3-point shot with five seconds remaining rimmed out, allowing Arkansas to seal the deal with a defensive rebound.

Overall, it was a decent shooting performance for Missouri, as the team shot 42 percent from the floor and 38 percent from 3. However, turnovers and inefficient possessions in key moments inhibited Missouri’s chance to close out a win in conference play.

Missouri will have a chance to redeem itself when it hosts No. 24 Tennessee (12-4, 3-2 SEC) on Wednesday at Mizzou Arena. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CT and can be seen on SEC Network.

Edited by Joe Noser | jnoser@themaneater.com

Share: Facebook / Twitter / Google+

Article comments

0 comments

This item does not have any approved comments yet.

Post a comment

Please provide a full name for all comments. We don't post obscene, offensive or pure hate speech.