“We just made a couple mental mistakes that cost us points and we couldn’t come back. It was a lesson learned against a good team that will probably make the NCAA tournament,” said freshman Cullen Vanleer who led Mizzou with 13 points in their 78-66 loss at Xavier on Tuesday night.
The Tigers hung close during a sloppy and/or tightly contested game with whistle-happy refs. The teams combined for 28 free throw attempts in the first half as Mizzou trailed 37-36 at the break.
Kevin Puryear gave the Tigers a 38-37 lead on a layup in the first minute of the second half, but Xavier went on a 16-5 run over the next six minutes to open 53-43 lead. The lead was extended to as many as 15 with just over six to play and the young Tigers could never recover.
Senior James Farr tied a career high with 15 points and tied his career high with 14 rebounds to lead the Musketeers.
Kevin Puryear finished with 12 points, junior guard Wes Clark had 11 points and sophomore guard Tramaine Isabell had 11 points.
After three games in five days, Mizzou is off until Monday when they play Kansas State at the Sprint Center in Kansas City for the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. Tip off for that game is 6 p.m. CT.