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Defense, rebounding, and hustle: Mizzou used a replicable recipe to beat Bama

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Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Losing streak: over.

Mizzou at least briefly turned its season around last night with a win at Alabama. The Tide had beaten Auburn, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma in Tuscaloosa, but the Tigers survived all the same.

Alabama’s Collin Sexton (23 points) got his, but Mizzou limited most of the Tide’s other options, holding Sexton to two assists and non-Sextons to 10-for-32 shooting. Physicality played a role.

“The physicality of Missouri just overwhelmed us from start to finish,” Alabama coach Avery Johnson said. “They were physical, they were passionate and I tried to warn our team about this the last couple days in practice, but they didn’t respond.”

In a roundabout way, it was almost encouraging that Mizzou weren’t unconscious from 3-point range (the Tigers shot 9-for-23) and still struggled with turnovers (19 in 69 possessions). It means they found a path to victory that they can potentially sustain.

The Tigers leave Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Wednesday night with a win, Missouri’s biggest of the season and one predicated on coach Cuonzo Martin’s three points of emphasis each game: defend, rebound and work hard.

“This is how we’re built to win games,” Martin said in a postgame interview on the Tiger Radio Network. “If you want to win games, here’s your blueprint.”

After averaging just 10.3 assists per game during a three-game losing streak, Mizzou got the ball moving a bit better (and did a better job of making open shots).

“We attribute that to all of the guys driving and kicking out to guys,” Barnett said. “Our ball movement was key.”

Missouri assisted on 13 of its 25 field goals.

Both freshman bigs had scoring bursts — Jontay Porter in the first half, Jeremiah Tilmon in the second.

Missouri responded with a 12-5 run that brought out the best of Jeremiah Tilmon, who had to stay in despite having three fouls. The freshman scored six straight points to key the run, including a layup in which he split a pair of defenders underneath the basket.

Yep. Feels good.


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