MU basketball shows encouraging signs in loss to Northwestern

10 months 3 weeks 6 days ago November 24, 2015 Nov 24, 2015 Tuesday, November 24 2015 Tuesday, November 24, 2015 8:41:00 PM CST in Sports
By: Tom Kackley, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter

KANSAS CITY – After a 24-point drubbing by former Big 12 rival Kansas State Monday, Missouri basketball looked to show more intensity Tuesday night against Northwestern.

After falling behind early, the Tigers finally came alive, but it wasn’t enough to win, falling to the Wildcats 67-62.

“I thought we went into this game with absolutely zero confidence," Missouri Head Basketball Coach Kim Anderson said. “I think we were shell-shocked from what happened last night.”

The Tigers fell behind by as many as 20 points after 13 minutes in the game, but they fought back in the early stages of the second half, cutting Northwestern’s lead to as little as 3 points in the final minutes. 

“I think once we got going, a fire got lit under us. We just have to figure it out and get started faster as the season goes on,” MU freshman point guard Terrence Phillips said.

Phillips helped spark the Tigers comeback. He scored 13 of his team-high 16 points in the second half and provided some much needed energy with 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

“I think he brought an electricity to the game on both ends of the floor,” Anderson said. ”He made some threes, got the ball to the hole. He’s got to do that more often.”

The Tigers only led once in the game, and team defense early on was a big reason why. Northwestern shot 52 percent from the field and 47 percent from three-point range in the first half.

“I thought early on they were doing what they wanted. It was kind of like coach was putting out a video to sell,” Anderson said. “They were kind of running everything and we were kind of helping out.”

But the Tigers roared back after halftime, outscoring the Wildcats 38-29 in the second half.

"I was really pleased with the effort. I thought we were at a little different level in the last 10 minutes that I hadn’t seen in a while. So from that standpoint, I was encouraged,” Anderson said.

The loss moves Missouri to 2-3 on the season, the Tigers will play Arkansas State at home next Tuesday.


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