For anyone hoping the Tigers would continue their hot streak and upset the Razorbacks on the road, the hope slipped away as the home Hogs — uplifted by the return of Isaiah Joe — bombed seven second half threes to put the Tigers away late.
Things were rolling for a while. Mizzou jumped out early to a 24-11 lead. But Arkansas went on two separate 10-0 runs, the second captured the lead which Mizzou was never able to get back. They fought, and every time it seemed the Hogs would extend things out Mizzou had an answer to keep it all within striking distance.
Mizzou was able to cut the lead to just 2 points four different times, three of those were answered with a three point make from Arkansas. Which takes me the point of this piece... sometimes you don’t make shots and the other team does.
- Three Point Makes: Mizzou had a rough day shooting from outside (shocker, I know). Last game against Arkansas BOTH teams struggled from outside. Yesterday, Arkansas did not struggle, hitting 12 3’s at a 48% clip. Here’s some fun math, if Mizzou makes their average (summarily hitting 2 more), and Arkansas makes their average (hitting four less), that’s an 18 point swing! Now I’m sure Arkansas shoots better at home, and shoots better when Isaiah Joe on the floor, but the exercise remains the same. It’s why they play the games and not just run a spreadsheet out there to determine the winners.
- The good news is Mizzou did everything else pretty well: they owned the glass (Arkansas only had two ORBs), converted nearly 60% of their two point shots, and didn’t turn the ball over. They also equaled the attempted free throws for an Arkansas team who gets to the line a lot.
- So a solid performance in the four factors on the road: and it wasn’t enough, basically because Arkansas got hot from outside.
So far this year, Missouri has played 152 possessions against Arkansas. In Fayetteville they were better from 2FG, about the same from 3FG and FT, more assists, fewer turnovers, better on the glass, and generally played better. The Razorbacks were about the same from 2FG, and got the free throw line a lot less, but it didn’t matter because they made 9 more threes.
Your Trifecta: Kobe Brown, Xavier Pinson, Dru Smith
On the season: Dru Smith 39 points, Mark Smith 23 points, Xavier Pinson 20 points, Kobe Brown 19 points, Javon Pickett 15 points, Jeremiah Tilmon 15 points, Mitchell Smith 13 points, Reed Nikko 8 points, Torrence Watson 6 points, Tray Jackson 3 points, Parker Braun 2 points, Axel Okongo 1 point
It was really good to see Kobe Brown come out aggressive and see some shots fall. He might’ve been a little excited about attempting threes, but that seemed to permeate through the entire team. Early on he was getting to the basket, and he was a force in the second half rebounding.
Xavier Pinson came out and played with patience, which was good considering it’s easy to get sucked into his recent emergence and come out trying to do a little too much. There were some early costly turnovers, but three of his turnovers came during the first 10 minutes when Mizzou built their 24-11 lead. And he only had a single turnover in the second half, while still compiling 7 assists.
But the shooting!
Pinson and Dru Smith have been carrying a large load of the offense and they combined to shoot 1-10 from 3FG, which dragged down their Floor% to a level where it probably sank Mizzou from overcoming the Razorbacks from deep.
These explorations are always less fun when you look at the numbers and they scream: THREE POINT MAKES. It happens a lot in College Basketball these days, but Missouri actually didn’t play all that poorly and had chances down the stretch. But those are the breaks. When Mizzou answered, Arkansas had a three, or sometimes two. And when your opponent is making them and you aren’t... well, winning gets hard.
I guess the good news is we didn’t completely expect this game to be a win. But the next one is important.
Next week’s games against Vanderbilt and Mississippi State are more where we’ll be able to determine this ‘hot streak’ to end the season. Right now Missouri is 13-14 and 5-9 in the SEC. A win at Vanderbilt gets you back to .500, and nets your 6th win in league play. That also keeps you out of the early Wednesday night games in the tournament. For me that’s the main goal going forward. Don’t play on Wednesday night.
Here are the rest of the results from yesterday’s SEC action:
- Kentucky 65, Florida 59
- LSU 86, South Carolina 80
- Auburn 73, Tennessee 66
- Texas A&M 87, Mississippi State 75
- Alabama 103, Ole Miss 78
- Georgia 80, Vanderbilt 78
And the standings:
- Kentucky 12-2
- Auburn 10-4
- LSU 10-4
- Florida 9-5
- South Carolina 8-6
- Mississippi State 8-6
- Texas A&M 8-6
- Alabama 7-7
- Tennessee 7-7
- Missouri 5-9
- Arkansas 5-9
- Ole Miss 4-10
- Georgia 4-10
- Vanderbilt 1-13