For 25 minutes it was bad basketball. Missouri played listless, and struggled to get any sort of offense going. It wasn't even as though Lipscomb was playing great, their own shooting percentages kept Missouri in the game.
Then for 5 minutes at the start of the second half, 5'9 Nathan Moran gave the Tigers fits with two three pointers and a free throw to extend the Bison lead to 10 points. That's when the Tigers went on a run. They scored 16 of the games next 17 points to take a lead that they would not relinquish. The unlikely help came in the form of points from Keith Shamburger, Keanau Post and Tramaine Isabell, That threesome buoyed the offense long enough for Wes Clark and Johnathan Williams III to seal the game with several great plays down the stretch.
This team is frustrating at times, and the writing was on the wall for them to have a "letdown" game after playing so well against Illinois and Oklahoma State. They came home to find a half empty arena, virtually no student attendance, and a plucky Lipscomb team who at times has been decent when the 3-pointers are falling. Kim Anderson went with the smaller lineup that had given them so much success of late, only to see them struggle with 6'11 300 lb Chad Lang of Lipscomb. The little used center caused the Tigers to switch strategies. And after Ryan Rosburg came in and was largely ineffective, Anderson went to Post, who hasn't played since a couple minutes vs Xavier, and hadn't scored since they played in Hawaii. Post rewarded him with 14 minutes, 3 of 5 shooting, 10 rebounds and solid defense that rendered Lang ineffective.
That's the fun of young teams. Sometimes they play great and take a top 30 team to Overtime. Then they turn around and get down 10 points to Lipscomb, ranked 264 right now according to KenPom. Two games notes also...
- Montaque Gill-Caesar, who was working through a sore back, sat out after only playing 9 minutes
- Malcolm Smith, the leading scorer for Lipscome took a Williams headbutt (not intentional) and was forced out with a laceration to his mouth after only 6 minutes
LSU is up next. Coming up we'll also get a Study Hall from Bill, and I'll do my usual post gamer. Until then, enjoy the win everyone.