Let’s get down to the basics here: whichever team puts up more shots tends to win the basketball game, right? When you turn the ball over 24 times in a span of 40 minutes, you’re probably not going to end up on the right side of the scoreboard.
Thus was the case for Missouri Wednesday night in a frustrating 72-60 loss to Arkansas.
The Tigers have had their troubles turning the ball over throughout the season, averaging just over 14 per game (223rd in DI, 11th in SEC).
A few key turnovers down the stretch turned a 60-59 Razorback led to a 70-59 one with just under two minutes remaining, killing any hope Missouri had of a late-game comeback victory. Jordan Geist totaled five, while Jeremiah Tilmon and Xavier Pinson picked up four a piece.
Early on in this one, it looked as if the Tigers would cruise to an easy victory. They took a quick 12-point lead on the Razorbacks, holding them to just two points in over eight minutes of play. But turnovers ensued at a frantic pace from then-on, allowing Arkansas to cut Missouri’s lead to just two at halftime.
Although the Tigers committed 13 turnovers in the second half, they were still in it throughout, as it was a pretty brutal game both sides the whole way through. Well, that and Mark Smith drained six 3’s for 22 points.
In a highly-competitive Southeastern Conference this year, a league that very well could be the best in the nation, it’s going to be extremely hard to win games when you turn over the ball 14 times — let alone 24 like Wednesday night.
That’ll be especially vital in Missouri’s four-game stretch coming up. They face three ranked teams (No. 25 LSU, No. 16 Auburn, No. 1 Tennessee) and a Vanderbilt squad that just forced the top-ranked Volunteers to overtime earlier Wednesday. The first leg of that comes at 5 p.m. CT Saturday at home against No. 25 LSU.