“They were the aggressor,” Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin said of the Seminoles after the Tigers 81-58 defeat.
FSU jumped on the Tigers early and never let up. Their size and length posed problems for the Tigers all night, forcing turnovers and allowing them to get into transition. With their large rotation, FSU substituted fresh legs all night, and continued to get up and down the court.
By halftime the outcome of the game was almost certain. FSU had forced 13 first-half Missouri turnovers, and the Seminoles were outscoring the the Tigers 23-3 in transition. For perspective, the Tigers had just 23 total points in the first half, their fourth straight game scoring under 25 in the first half.
“I feel like we just have to be stronger with the ball,” Kobe Brown said about what led to all the Missouri turnovers. “Instead of trying to force a pass to someone who they’re denying a back cut, we just have to bring the next guy. We work on it in practice, we just have to apply it to the game.”
FSU really put distance between themselves on the Tigers with a 20-5 run in the first half that featured a couple of monstrous dunks from from St. Louis native and former Mizzou target, Cam’Ron Fletcher, who finished with 12 points for the Seminoles.
“Their length and athleticism get into passing lanes and they force you to make one on one plays,” Martin said. “So if you don’t have guys consistently making one on one plays, it can be a long night.”
The Tigers didn’t have enough players making those one-on-one plays, and FSU’s relentless defense allowed the Seminoles to repeatedly get easy looks in transition. Florida State shot 61% from the field and were not only getting good looks on the inside, but they shot 10-24 from deep as well, putting the Tigers’ defense in a bind.
The second half was merely a formality as the Tigers couldn’t make any sort of runs to dent Florida State’s 21-point halftime lead. If there was a silver lining to the game for the Tigers, it was the performances of Kobe Brown and Amari Davis. Brown finished with 13 on 6-7 shooting, while Davis added a game-high 14 on 6-9 shooting.
This loss drops the Tigers to 3-2 on the young season, and they’ll now shift their attention to Wichita State who they’ll welcome to Mizzou Arena on Friday night at 8pm.