The Missouri basketball team played its first game without head coach Quin Snyder, who resigned on Friday afternoon and snapped a six-game losing streak with a 74-71 win over Kansas St. at Mizzou Arena. Melvin Watkins was named interim head coach and it was his first head coaching experience since being fired by Texas A&M following the 2003-2004 season. That year he went 0-16 in the Big 12.
The Tigers had one of their best games from the floor this season, hitting 51.9 percent of their shots. They held a 31-29 lead at the half and were able to hold off the Wildcats down the stretch, despite trailing by as many as three points. They improved to 11-1 on the season and 4-7 in the Big 12.
Up 72-71 with 7.7 seconds to go, Jimmy McKinney hit two free throws to give the Tigers a 74-71 lead. KSU’s Cartier Martin missed a three-pointer at the buzzer to end the Wildcats’ hope for a win.
The Tigers’ six-game skid began with a loss at K-State on January 21.
Marshall Brown had 18 points to lead four Tigers in double-digit scoring. He also added four assists and four rebounds. McKinney had 16, Kevin Young had 14 and Thomas Gardner had 11. Jason Horton dished out six assists.
David Hoskins led Kansas St. with 20 points, Cartier Martin had 19 and Columbia, Mo. native Lance Harris had 18.
The win came on the same day that the University of Missouri honored its All-Centruy team. MU is celebrating its 100th year of basketball and at the half many members of that team, along with other former MU players, were introduced at mid-court of Mizzou Arena. The loudest cheer was for former player and head coach, Norm Stewart.