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Both men and women’s basketball falter on the road

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Tough day for Mizzou Hoops all around

While mid-Missouri got railroaded by a historic winter storm on Sunday, both Mizzou hoops teams were seeking greener pastures on the east coast. Unfortunately, neither could come away with the desired result.

The men, whose trip to The Other Columbia was delayed by the storm, hung with Frank Martin’s Gamecocks until about midway through the first half. But as the turnovers and fouls mounted, the Gamecocks slowly pulled away. A second half comeback was quelled, and the Tigers dropped to 0-2 in SEC play.

Once again, one of the game’s main stories was Jeremiah Tilmon’s struggle to stay in the game.

An 8-0 run got the Tigers back within five points on a couple more 3s by Mark Smith and Torrence Watson, but with 12:58 left, Tilmon played his final possession when another wrestling match with Silva in the paint sent both big men sprawling to the court. The Gamecocks veteran earned the benefit of the doubt as Tilmon drew the foul.

There were some bright spots for the Tigers — Javon Pickett had a season-high 21 points and the team shot 50 percent from beyond the arc. But until these young Tigers learn how to cut back on turnovers and stay out of foul trouble, it’ll be tough sledding through a conference that is sure to eat itself alive.

Sunday’s more frustrating turn of events, though, came from the Mizzou women, who missed an opportunity to start 4-0 in SEC play, dropping a road game to the lowly Florida Gators, who are now just 5-12 on the season.

For a team as talented as the Tigers, losing this game would’ve been bad enough — how they lost was much worse.

The Gators (5-12, 1-3) scored the game’s final 10 points and ended the contest on a 17-3 run. Delicia Washington hit the game-winning layup through traffic with 2.2 seconds left. The Tigers (14-4, 3-1) did not get a shot up on their final possession.

“Yeah, it’s a tough one,” Missouri coach Robin Pingeton said after the game on KTGR radio. “Florida’s got some players. Their record is deceiving. They’ve been in games. They’ve been right there. I just thought they played with a greater sense of urgency down the stretch than we did, and ultimately that falls on me.”

It was a tough day for Sophie Cunningham, who only scored 4 points in 35 minutes. No player scored more than 9 points and the team shot 44.2 percent from the field. Worst of all, the Tigers only attempted three free throws over the course of the entire game.

Pingeton’s knock-down-drag-out style of play will always mean Mizzou plays in close games, especially on the road. It’s what allows them to come away with wins like last week’s against Tennessee.

However, close losses to below-average teams have also become a trend for Pingeton’s teams. That’s something she’ll have to overcome as the program seeks to make the leap from good to great.

The Tigers are 14-4 and 3-1 in SEC play. A deep run into March is still very much on the table.

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:

  • PowerMizzou is continuing its 2018 football review — and early 2019 preview — with a look at the safety position.
  • Saturday Down South named three teams who would be a perfect fit for Drew Lock in this coming draft. As a tepid observer of the NFL, I couldn’t care less which team he goes to. As a fan of Lock who wants to see him succeed long-term, there’s only one team on this list who I believe would be a good fit.
  • If you or anyone you love attends/works at the University, enjoy your off day!