In front of a raucous dozen or so fans at Mizzou Arena, the Tigers once again found shooting the ball poorly to be counter-productive to outscoring their opponent. Even though this was statistically Missouri’s “most winnable” game left on the schedule, I’m not sure many fans expected a different result. Maybe someday we’ll get to read about a nice surprise win, but today is not that day.
From the Post-Dispatch:
For nine seconds Missouri regained momentum, recaptured the attention of a sleepy crowd and instilled some faith that its losing streak was about to expire. Russell Woods’ free throw with 2:27 left knotted Mizzou and Auburn for the fifth time Tuesday, a glimmer of hope that MU could deliver its first conference win.
Mustapha Heron must have thought the same thing.
Nine seconds after Woods’ free throw dropped, Auburn’s freshman guard sank a 3-pointer from the wing to put his team back in front for good and extend Mizzou’s pain another night. The rest was just details as Auburn preserved a 77-72 victory at the free throw line. With one of the most winnable home games left on the schedule, Missouri stretched its losing streak to seven. In a game that saw 14 lead changes, Heron’s quick 3 will go down as the deciding blow.
Even though the losses may be piling up, the team is doing their damnedest to keep them from doing so. It was only a small flicker of hope, sure, but that’s still better than no hope at all.
That doesn’t mean it was pretty.
From the KC Star:
Missouri continued to shoot like the basketball is deathly allergic to nylon.
Auburn played with the pep and energy of a three-toed sloth.
Something had to give Tuesday at Mizzou Arena, where both teams were seeking their first Southeastern Conference win of the season.
While the game had the artistic quality of a 2-year-old’s finger-painting — the teams combined for 45 personal fouls, 80 missed shots, 25 missed free throws and 29 turnovers — Auburn won’t apologize for the 77-72 victory.
When one finds themselves in the pits of a losing streak, it starts to feel like nothing can go right. A funk settles around the team. Mizzou’s funk is so thick and oppressive that Kim Anderson had to address it post-game.
From the Missourian:
Poor shooting has been a problem for Missouri all year. Tuesday was no different, as the team ended up shooting 32.4 percent from the field and 27.8 percent from 3-point range. Anderson said he believes that both hot and cold shooting is contagious and hopes his team can reverse its shooting woes.
“I’m frustrated for these guys, because we put an unbelievable amount of time into shooting the basketball, especially over break,” Anderson said. “You get in the gym and keep shooting."
Actually, he’s not only addressing it, he’s straight up telling the team to take a breather and get their mind right.
Anderson says Missouri won't practice tomorrow, needs time to "cleanse the soul"— Dave Matter (@Dave_Matter) January 11, 2017
The team “needs time to cleanse the soul” - which is something you say about yourself after spending the holidays eating too much delicious pie while remaining almost completely sedentary for a week. Things aren’t going well.
I think Gabe DeArmond summed the current situation up most succinctly, so I’ll let him close it out.
After every game, I try to wrap things up and put them in context. This analogy was all I could come up with tonight: pic.twitter.com/wJ3YDDuMzz— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) January 11, 2017
- Guess what, things probably aren’t getting better for Mizzou basketball any time soon!
- Luckily, softball starts soon and Missouri is super good at that. Head coach Ehren Earleywine was mic’d up during his team’s first practice of 2017, which will surely provide us with zero entertaining soundbites.
Let’s listen in, just in case:
My personal favorite:
That’s as good as your swing’s looked. Let’s send you back home. Put you in the freezer. Thaw you out when the season starts.