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GAME THREAD: Mizzou visits West Virginia

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The Tigers need a pick-me-up, and a win over the Mountaineers would be just that.

NCAA Basketball: Texas A&M at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Live updates, analysis

Final: Missouri falls to West Virginia, 74-51. You’d think it was a blowout the entire game with that final score, but the Tigers trailed by just 1 at halftime. Shooting woes once again lead to Missouri’s downfall.

7:12 2H: Yep, that got out of hand very fast. Missouri is being outscored 34-10 this half, and the worst stretch came during a 21-0 West Virginia run. When Axel Okongo getting his first career points is the only real highlight of the second half, well, that tells you how the last 13 minutes have gone.

15:34 2H: Missouri is back to shooting poorly, just 1-for-7 this half. The Tigers also have a couple of defensive miscues, but giving up an offensive rebound after two missed free throws followed by a wide open 3-pointer is the one that seems to have turned this game in West Virginia’s favor. Missouri trails 34-25.

Halftime: Really hard to understand what happened in that half. Missouri was atrocious on offense for most of the first 10+ minutes as West Virginia opened up a 20-6 lead, but then the Mountaineers decided to go ice cold from the field as the Tigers have clawed back to within 1. Missouri isn’t shooting well from anywhere (21.4 FG%, 25 3FG%, 66.7 FT%) but have done just enough to make this one close.

3:51 1H: Missouri just pulled a 10-0 run out of nowhere and now trail by just 4. Torrence Watson and Kobe Brown knocked down 3s to help spark the scoring, and the Tigers’ defense is forcing the Mountaineers into a 3-point contest. A couple of turnovers and foul calls have also created a growing frustration on the West Virginia sideline.

7:55 1H: Missouri can’t buy a bucket and the Tigers are behind by 14. Reed Nikko and Tray Jackson are the only players who’ve made shots, and Torrence Watson added two free throws. Just a brutal day offensively for Missouri.

11:05 1H: Missouri trails West Virginia 14-6. The Tigers’ cold shooting continued after the last break, as they started shooting 1-for-15 (roughly 7%) from the field before Tray Jackson got a put-back layup to go. But Missouri is still 0-fer from behind the arc.

15:53 1H: Missouri has fallen behind 8-2 at the first media timeout. The common theme of almost every first half is the Tigers’ struggling to score, and we’re seeing that tonight. Mitchell Smith has missed a couple of decent looks from deep, and the Mountaineers haven’t allowed anything besides a Reed Nikko turnaround jumper to fall.

Pregame

As Josh pointed out in his preview (linked below), West Virginia is arguably the best team Missouri has on its schedule. The Mountaineers are always a solid defensive squad, but this year’s squad is particularly stingy.

The Tigers are definitely having a disappointing season overall, but they’ve shown a penchant to play up to better competition. They almost took out Xavier on the road, hung with Kentucky for roughly three quarters and obviously their win over Illinois looks better and better everyday.

If Missouri can play to that level against West Virginia, the Tigers will give themselves a shot against one of the country’s elite teams.

Hoops Preview: West Virginia is probably the best team Missouri will face this season

The Details

Opponent: West Virginia Mountaineers (15-3)

Time: 11:00 a.m. CT

Where: WVU Coliseum, Morgantown WV

Is Mizzou Receiving Top 25 Votes? Not this time

What Does Vegas Say? WVU, -12.5

Where To Watch: ESPN | WatchESPN

Radio: Tiger Radio Network // Sirius/XM -119/199

Twitter: @MizzouHoops

Facebook: Mizzou Men’s Basketball

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Five Questions!

  1. Which Smith ends up with the most points (and how many points does he score)?
  2. Over/under 4.5 3-pointers for Mark Smith?
  3. Who leads the team in rebounds?
  4. Who is your trifecta for the game?
  5. What will the final score be?