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Missouri Basketball Game Preview, Live Game Thread: Houston Christian

The Tigers look to continue their undefeated season when they host the Huskies

NCAA Basketball: Mississippi Valley State at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri 105 | Houston Christian 69


First Half Notes

  • Mizzou Starting Lineup: Nick Honor, D’Moi Hodge, DeAndre Gholston, Kobe Brown and Noah Carter
  • Houston Christian Starting Lineup: Pierce Bazil, Brycen Long, Maks Klanjscek, Bonke Maring and Sam Hofman
  • Mizzou wins the tipoff, and Noah Carter scores the first basket on a second-chance layup.
  • Kobe Brown gives the Tigers their first three-pointer of the morning.
  • Houston Christian has yet to score through the first three and a half minutes, prompting Huskies’ head coach Ron Cottrell to call a timeout. Control is the third longest-tenured Division-I coach at 32 seasons.
  • The Huskies score their first points on a trio of free throws from Brycen Long. Mizzou, meanwhile, is 4-5 from beyond the arc and up to 16 points.
  • Kobe Brown with a punctuating dunk to increase the Mizzou lead to 22. The Tigers are looking dominant in all facets, while the Huskies have yet to make a field goal.
  • The Huskies have made their last five shots, a stark contrast to earlier. They’re slowly starting to battle back.
  • Nick Honor with a steal, and he instantly knocks down a three-pointer. It’s that type of day so far for the Tigers. Hodge follows shortly after with a three-pint make of his own, and he’s up to nine points.
  • Mizzou is on a 7-0 run to help Mizzou to jump back out to a 22-point lead.
  • Another Tigers is lighting up the stat sheet, today it’s DeAndre Gholston, who is up to 17 points. He has Mizzou’s last 12 points.
  • Aidan Shaw is a menace defensively. He has two blocks today, including an emphatic swat to give Mizzou an opportunity before the half.
  • Mo Diarra’s three-point attempt is no good at the buzzer, and the Tigers will take a 24-point lead into halftime.

Second Half Notes

  • HCU scores the first basket of the second half, but Noah Carter converts a layup to answer right back.
  • Mizzou is on an 8-0 run, utilizing a pair of dunks and layups to swarm the paint.
  • There may not be a better example of the Mizzou defense’s sheer impact than the steal from DeAndre Gholston, following an HCU defensive rebound, that resulted in a two-handed slam from Kobe Brown.
  • The Tigers are sharing the ball once again, jumping out to 19 assists with 12 minutes to go.
  • Four Tigers are in double-figures, and Mizzou is up to 21 assists to just nine turnovers.
  • Mizzou’s biggest weakness may be foul trouble, which has been a topic of concern throughout the early going of the season. The Tigers have five fouls with about nine minutes to go.
  • HCU is on a 7-0 run, cutting its deficit to 28 points.
  • Mizzou is nearly at the century mark, using a 10-2 scoring stretch to put on the pressure. Building off of the victory over Coastal Carolina on Wednesday, this looks like yet another complete performance.
  • DeGray III puts the Tigers over 100 points.
  • Walk-on Ben Stenberg recorded a basket off the bench.
  • 36-point victory for Mizzou. Dominant performance from start to finish.

Pregame Notes

Five Questions!

  1. Will the Tigers cover?
  2. Who will be the leading scorer?
  3. How many rebounds will Kobe Brown grab?
  4. How many points will Isiaih Mosley have?
  5. What will the final score be?

Lastly, drop your game predictions and MVPs down below!

The Tigers remain undefeated six games into the season, as Dennis Gates & Co. are averaging a whopping 91.3 points per game. The newcomers have meshed relatively well, and the assist numbers for this team have been off the charts, averaging well over 20 per game.

Still, there have been moments in games against Penn and Mississippi Valley State that this team has looked vulnerable, so today’s game will be important for this team to try to hit their stride before the schedule truly heats up.

The Huskies have struggled to a 1-5 record to start the season, but Mizzou cannot afford to take them lightly.

Game Info

When: Saturday, Nov. 26

Where: Mizzou Arena, Columbia, MO

Time: 11:00 a.m. CST

TV: SEC Network

Spread: Mizzou -29

KenPom Win Probability: 99%

The Starters


PG: Nick Honor (Grad)
SG: D’Moi Hodge (Grad)
SF: DeAndre Gholston (Grad)
PF: Kobe Brown (SR)
C: Noah Carter (SR)

Houston Christian:

PG: Brycen Long (JR)
SG: Pierce Bazil (FR)
SF: Maks Klanjscek (SR)
PF: Sam Hofman (SR)
C: Bonke Maring (SR)

*These lineups are projected

Get To Know Houston Christian

The Huskies began this season 1-5. They’ve fallen to FIU, Western Michigan, Georgia Southern, Rice, and Texas. Their lone win comes over Champion Christian, pitting them at no. 335 in the current KenPom rankings.

They certainly struggle on the defensive end of the floor. HCU ranks 347th in adjusted defensive efficiency, allowing teams to make 66.2% of their 2-point shots despite holding them to 25.5% from behind the arc. They allow an average of 84.3 points per game.

The starting five takes the bulk majority of the minutes for this team, as the mostly experienced bunch have been able to find offensive success this season. Center Bonke Marine stands at 6’10” and leads the team, averaging 15.2 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. However, gritty Belgian forward Sam Hofman has the lead in rebounding, corralling seven per game. He nearly had a double-double against Rice with 18 points and nine rebounds.

The Huskies have size and are a solid 3-point shooting team (38%), two factors that could potentially spell trouble for Mizzou.

3 Keys To The Game

  1. How do the Tigers handle HCU’s size?

It’s easy to tell, Mizzou is not a big team. Kobe Brown is the tallest starter, and he only comes in at 6’8”. Bonke Maring has proven to be a dominant presence this season, and if he can get into a rhythm against the Tigers, then the Huskies will have a shot in this game. It will likely be a committee effort to cover him, with double-teams needed in the low post. Sam Hofman’s rebounding ability is also worth watching, as he is a hustle player who can out-work a more complacent team.

2. Can Isiaih Mosley continue his stellar play?

Mosley was heralded as the star of the 2022-23 Missouri basketball team entering the season, but it took him a bit to get up to speed on this team. He was amongst the NCAA leaders in points per game last season at Missouri State and has slowly found his rhythm with this team. His best performance of the season came on Wednesday night when he had 23 points on 10-for-15 shooting.

If he can keep up that level of play off the bench, Mosley becomes yet another weapon Dennis Gates has at his disposal.

3. Can this team play clean from start to finish?

Unlike many other teams across the country, Mizzou has managed to navigate through some pesky mid-major programs to an undefeated start. Still, they have shown moments of struggle against Penn, MVSU, and others. At this point, Gates has seen everything he needs to see in terms of this team’s potential. Now, they just need to put it together for 40 minutes, much like they did on Wednesday against Coastal Carolina.

Game Prediction

KenPom Prediction: Mizzou 91, Houston Christian 66

My Prediction: Mizzou 86, Houston Christian 70

These Tigers have managed to handle non-Power 6 competition with relative ease thus far this season, something not many other teams in the country can say right now. Still, they are not immune to being upset...nobody is.

This may be a sluggish game at times, but Mizzou should pull away in the second half. The length of Maring may be tough to overcome, but if the Tigers can continue to share the ball how they have been, then there should be no worries. If there is something to watch in this game, it’s if Mosley can continue to become a go-to player for this offense.

If Mizzou can keep Maring in check on the offensive end and limit the Huskies’ 3-point shooting, then this should be another relatively easy victory. The Tigers need to continue to dictate the tempo of the games they play in, because they have shown the ability to speed up opposing offenses with their play style.