That was, to put it nicely, painful on the eyes.
Former Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy, doing color commentary for the SEC Network broadcast, bluntly called it an “ass-whooping” on live TV.
To sum up how out of hand it had gotten in the second half: The announcers, apparently having run out of ways to describe the game which saw Mississippi State go up by as many as 32 in the second half, began discussing topics such as Patrick Mahomes’ performance against the Texans on Sunday, as well as the evolution of basketball and the decline of the midrange game.
72 hours after Missouri put on its most dominating performance of the season against non-blood donor competition, the literal inverse happened. This was perhaps Missouri’s worst performance of the season, a 72-45 blowout loss.
It started ugly and ended ugly. Mississippi State jumped out to a 10-0 lead, and Missouri’s first basket did not come until nearly five minutes into the game.
After a Robert Woodard II layup to put the Bulldogs up 14-3 with 12:43 left in the first half, Mississippi State would never again lead by less than double-digits. Not only that, the lead continued to grow.
The shooting and turnover woes that were evidently suspended for one Saturday night returned with fury against Mississippi State. Several passes went to no one in particular, sometimes flying harmlessly out of bounds, sometimes into the welcoming hands the other team.
The Tigers shot just 35 percent for the game, and a paltry 20 percent from three. Mississippi State didn’t have to rely on bombing away from three or getting to the free throw line to win either. The Bulldogs made the same number of threes as Missouri (five), turned the ball over just four fewer times than Missouri’s 19 giveaways, and rarely made it to the free throw line, shooting only seven shots from the charity stripe.
The difference in this game was in the paint. Mississippi State made 13 more two-point field goals than Missouri, converting 25 times in the paint compared to just 12 made baskets for Missouri.
The Tigers simply had no answer for the Bulldogs’ sophomore forward Reggie Perry, who scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. The only member of Missouri’s front court who provided any sort of offensive answer to Perry was Kobe Brown, who scored 14 points to lead Missouri in scoring. The rest of the front court combined to score just 12 points, plenty coming after the game was firmly decided.
Cuonzo Martin will almost certainly have a fit when he watches the film, especially due to Missouri struggling to close out on Bulldogs shooters. This was an utterly disastrous performance, uncompetitive from start to finish.
Mississippi State gets its first SEC win, improving to 1-3 in conference play and 10-6 on the season. Missouri falls to 1-3 in the conference and 9-7 overall. The Tigers will have little time to reflect on the loss, with a road trip to Tuscaloosa for a 2:30 p.m. tipoff on Saturday against Alabama waiting on the schedule.
Hopefully that game will be competitive enough to keep the announcers focused on the game at hand.