The Missouri Tigers season came to an end on Tuesday with a 75-70 home loss to DePaul in the first round of the NIT. The Tigers trailed by as many as 10 points in the first half and led by as many as three in the second half. A two-three zone gave the Tigers fits in the second half and they heaved missed three pointer after missed three pointer, going 6-of-25 from the arc
Linas Kleiza’s jumper put the Tigers on top 54-52 with 12:46 to go in the game. After that Mizzou made just three field goals the rest of the way and went seven minutes and 24 seconds without a basket during one stretch.
For DePaul, senior guard Drake Diener was a one-man wrecking crew. He was 11-of-15 from the floor, hitting 7-of-11 three pointers for a game-high 30 points. Fellow senior, Quemont Greer added 17 for the Blue Demons, as they improved to 20-10 on the season.
Senior Jason Conley finished his career at Mizzou with five points, six rebounds and three assists on Tuesday night. Fellow senior Brian Dailey did not play. Sophomores Linas Kleiza and Thomas Gardner were Missouri’s top two scorers in the losing effort—Kleiza had 23, while Gardner pitched in 17. They were the only two Tigers in double digits.
The loss secured MU’s first losing season since 1996-1997 when they went 16-17, the same record the 2004-2005 team had.