Wow. That’s one word to describe last night’s game against Baylor. Throughout it all, I was in awe of watching this team fight to the end against a loud and passionate crowd. Mizzou put themselves back on the NCAA map. People tuned in to ESPNU to watch them almost pull off the upset. I was sitting in the media section hoping it would happen.
But alas, the Tigers fell short to the no. 5 Bears by two points. The final score was 70-68.
If I were Tiger fans, I would not be too upset about this loss. Here are my takeaways of the game.
- What was up with all the fouls?
- I have no choice but to start off with the foul calls. I know I am not the only one upset about it. In fact, former Tiger Sierra Michaelis pointed out that ESPNU took off Mizzou’s foul count from the broadcast. Was it because they didn’t want to show that the count was in Baylor’s favor? Apparently, the broadcasters wouldn’t stop talking about how great Baylor was. Again, I was in Waco so I have no clue what went on with the broadcast.
- What I can tell you is that Mizzou was called for 27 fouls compared to Baylor’s 15. A kickball violation was called on the Tigers when it clearly went off of the Bears. A jumpball was called a foul on Hayley Frank. Haley Troup and Izzy Higginbottom were pushed down and that was a no call. Aijha Blackwell and Mama Dembele fouled out on ridiculous calls. I would say over half of the 27 fouls would not of been called in majority of games. Big 12 refs, are y’all okay?
2. For the love of everything, put some respect on Haley Troup’s name!
- Columbia East is still not over the fact that Troup transferred from South Carolina before ever stepping on the court. If you don’t believe me, twitter is your friend. It is not too late to put respect on her name. She fought until the absolute end. The fourth quarter was hers. It gives me flashbacks to last season’s WNIT loss to Fresno State. She finished with a stat line of 16 points and six assists and at one point gave Mizzou the lead. When in doubt, give the ball to the vet. She’ll make defenses pay.
TROUP FOR THREE!!!— Mizzou Basketball (@MizzouWBB) December 5, 2021
4Q | 7:00 | MIZ 60, BU 57
3. The second half was Mizzou’s half.
- After being down 27-36 at the end of the first half, Mizzou outscored Baylor 41-34. I repeat. Missouri outscored no. 5 Baylor, 41-34. They played such great offense and defense, but the refs stole their light away. Sure, they had a ton of chances to retake the lead. Some missed free throws from Blackwell and a missed three from Hansen with around 12 seconds left were huge factors. Do I think they should’ve held for the last shot instead of Hansen throwing up that three? No. I thought it was a smart call by Pingeton to allow Baylor to shoot free throws. Throughout the game, Baylor made 56.3% of their free throws. The odds were heavily in Mizzou’s favor to throw up a quick shot and then foul no matter if it went in or not. When they did have time on the clock after Baylor missed a free throw, they executed a great play, but unfortunately, Hansen was unable to make the midrange jumper.
4. Tiger fans, there is absolutely no reason to be upset.
- All over my twitter feed, people who don’t follow Mizzou at all were tuned into this game and complimenting the Tigers. Even if they had no idea who Blackwell was, they were impressed by her aggressive play. Once the game remained extremely close and there were lead changes, people were eager to see the ending. An unranked Mizzou team that has overcome so much adversity and who was chosen to finish 10th in the SEC almost defeating Baylor shows the resiliency of this squad.
This Tiger squad is special. No one expected this to be as close of an outcome as it was. The NCAA is on notice. It was a great loss for the Tigers and an embarrassing win for the Bears. Every Tiger fan should be proud of this team.
Next up, Mizzou travels to Springfield, Mo. to face in state rival Missouri State at 7 pm central on ESPN+.