This weekend in Buffalo, NY summed up the Missouri Tigers season. We saw the best against Clemson and today the worst against West Virginia. The Tigers 33% from the floor and three point range while not being able to take advantage of their opportunities losing to the Mountaineers 68-59 in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Mizzou could never catch WVU closing to within three late in the game, but the Tigers could never hit the big shot or make the free throw when they needed it. WVU only turned the ball over five times the 33 minutes of the game, but in the final seven minutes, the Tigers got five turnovers to try to close a nine point deficit on three different occasions.
Mike Anderson post game comments
Keith Ramsey who scored a career high 20 points on Friday was non-existent in this game finishing with just five points on 2 of 9 shooting. Michael Dixon stepped up and showed Tiger fans a glimpse of the future scoring 15 off the bench to pull Missouri back each time the game looked like it was slipping away.
WVU went a span of over 13 minutes where they made just one field goal from the end of the first half until the the 15:23 mark of the second half and the Tigers could never close to anything closer than five at that point in the second half trailing 36-31.
West Virginia jumped out to an 8-0 lead and held the lead for most of the first half thanks to 19 points from DaSean Butler who hit four three-pointers. The Mountaineers lead 30-25 at the break.
Missouri cut the lead to 15-14 with 12 minutes to play thanks to Michael Dixon who sparked the Tigers coming off the bench to score four quick points. WVU opened the lead up to 23-17 wiht 7:15 to play but then the Tigers went on an 8-2 run to tie the game at 25-25 with 3:06 left, but Butler finished the half with 5 of 6 at the free throw line to give WVU their five point lead.
Mike Anderson’s opening comments with cuts from Keith Ramsey, J.T. Tiller and Zaire Taylor
DaSean Butler led WVU with 28 points. The Mountaineers did a great job of getting to the free throw line where they were 25 of 33. Meanwhile Missouri was just 12 of 20 and at one point late in the game were just 5 of 9.
The Tigers had their chances and as I watched this game I was reminded of their entire season. I look at the poor shooting percentage, the lack of timely rebounds, and the inability to score points of turnovers and yet this team was never more than nine points behind until the very end of the game.
The Tigers finish 23-11. Still a great season for a team picked seventh in the Big 12 and advancing just as far as #1 Kansas. As frustrating as the loss was, it is also encouraging to know that the Tigers’ future looks bright with guys like Dixon, English and Denmon returning along with Bowers and a healthy Safford for next season.