Mizzou men's basketball comeback falls short against Temple
COLUMBIA – Mizzou basketball was back home Tuesday for the first time since the season opener, taking on the Temple Owls. They were looking to rebound after dropping the final of the Paradise Jam Tournament to Kansas State. It was not to be, however, as Temple held off a late Tiger comeback to win 79-77.
The game had a back and forth feel to it early. Both teams were sneaking baskets in around tight defensive pressure. The difference was Temple converted their pressure into turnovers, while Mizzou only forced one the entire half.
Despite the turnovers, Mizzou had the score tied at 28 with 3:20 left in the first half. That is until Temple’s Quinton Rose had back to back steals, and Temple ran away with the end of the half. The Tigers were down 42-32 at the break. Temple dominated the offensive boards leading to a 39-22 advantage in shots taken as well.
The second half started much more evenly in terms of shots. The two traded attempts, each taking seven in the first four minutes of the second half. They were also trading baskets though, which makes coming back difficult. At the under-16 media timeout, the Tigers still trailed 53-46.
Mizzou finally forced Temple into a turnover at the 14:12 mark, their first in over 25 minutes. That led to a Jeremiah Tilmon free throw, part of a quick 6-2 run to cut the game to three at 55-52.
After three Tiger turnovers, they were back down 12 as Temple answered with a 9-0 run of their own. Rose and Shizz Alston Jr. continued to push the tempo, controlling the pace and speeding up Mizzou.
Cuonzo Martin took a timeout with 7:21 left down 70-58 to try and halt the Temple momentum. Whatever he said struck home. His team slowed down and started forcing Temple into bad shots, going on an 11-1 run to cut it the score to 71-69. De’vondre Perry made a 3-pointer to break the run only to be answered on the next possession by Jordan Geist making one of his own.
Temple went inside following a timeout to Ernest Aflakpui for a layup. Jordan Geist was then unable to convert on a jumper, leaving Mizzou down 76-72 with 41 seconds remaining and forcing them into foul mode. Alston Jr. made 3/4 free throws down the stretch to ice the game for the Owls.
Mark Smith led four Mizzou players in double-figures with 19, Tilmon added 14 pts and 10 rebs. Jordan Geist scored all 11 of his points in the second half. Rose led Temple with 18 pts and 4 steals.
Mizzou will look to get back in the win column when they play the University of Central Florida Sunday.