Mizzou men’s basketball press release— Sophomore guard Terrence Phillips (Orange Country, Calif.) continued his exemplary play on the court with 22 points to lead Mizzou Men’s Basketball, but it was not enough against a seasoned Kosovo National Team on Saturday, with the Tigers’ opponent taking the result, 86-80.
Phillips scored his 22 points on stout 50.0-percent field goal shooting (9-of-18 FG, 4-of-6 3PT), fresh off dropping 17 in the Tigers’ victory over Vicenza Select on Friday. The sophomore Tiger also nabbed eight rebounds in the game. Phillips finished Mizzou’s Italian tour averaging 11.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 4.0 steals per game.
“I’m encouraged by how we played as a team, but also from how our guys carried themselves,” head coach Kim Anderson said. “The practices back home, followed up by good competitive games against unfamiliar opponents, are an excellent teaching tool within the team-building experience of being on a foreign tour together. Guys stepped up on this trip that did not think they would, and we had other guys learn what it takes to make an impact at this level.”
Sophomore guard Cullen VanLeer (Pacific, Mo.) kept his hot hand going in the Tigers’ final game, scoring 11 points on 3-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc (2-of-4 FT). VanLeer averaged 15.7 points per game over Mizzou’s last three contests of the trip, finishing with a team-best scoring average of 13.8 points per game in Italy, overall.
The Tigers and Kosovo found themselves all knotted up, 39-39, at the halftime break. Sophomore guard K.J. Walton (Indianapolis, Ind.) drove through tough contact twice in the final minute of the second period, netting two lay-ins to give Mizzou a 39-36 advantage with seconds remaining. Kosovo sank a buzzer-beating three-pointer to tie the game at the break.
Anderson’s squad rallied ahead of Kosovo in the third period, leading by as many as eight points (53-45) before the opponent was able to mount a rally of its own to take a 64-63 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Also shining for the Tigers in Italy was freshman forward Willie Jackson (Cleveland, Ohio), who posted averages of 11.3 points and a team-best 9.5 rebounds per game in Italy. Jackson brought down 10 boards against Kosovo for his third game of the tour with double-digit rebounds. The Tiger newcomer recorded double-doubles against BC Silute (11 points, 10 rebounds) and Vicenza Select (12 points, 11 rebounds).
A third Mizzou double-double was recorded by senior Russell Woods (Chicago, Ill.) against Kosovo, with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Woods was an efficient 7-of-12 from the field in the contest.
The Tigers started 3-0 before playing their second game in as many days against Kosovo at the Palazzetto Scuole Elementari in Costa Masnaga.