COLUMBIA - For Mizzou hoops, change is constant. The rankings show a roller coaster of highs and lows.
However, every year, there's one constant. Five years ago, the tradition of holding the 'Rally for Rhyan' game to raise money for pediatric cancer began.
Mizzou came into Saturday's game against Arkansas 5-0 in those games. This game would be a different story.
The Tigers started strong, jumping out to a nine-point lead in an incredible start from beyond the arc. Three players made two three-pointers within the first 13 minutes, including Torrence Watson who has struggled this season from deep.
#Mizzou is spreading the wealth from beyond the arc right now. Torrence Watson, Xavier Pinson AND Mitchell Smith each have two 3's, 26-18 Tigers lead over Arkansas, 7:18 left to go in the first half. @KOMUsports— Parker Rehm (@parker_rehm) February 13, 2021
"I just tried to carry my load," Mizzou guard Torrence Watson said. "Going forward, it's just staying ready. You never know when your time is going to come... Today, I feel like I really stepped up."
However, Arkansas hung tough with the Tigers, slowly chipping away at the lead. Mizzou led 35-31 at the half.
At halftime, the feel of the game changed too.
Brad Loos, former Mizzou assistant coach and father of Rhyan Loos addressed the crowd from his basement, announcing he contracted COVID-19 and wasn't able to be at the game.
In a year spoiled by a ravaging pandemic, the importance of the cause never wavered.
"This year may look and feel different, but our mission remains the same, fighting pediatric cancer," Brad Loos said from the video board.
After the touching tribute and many applause, second half action resumed.
The Razorbacks put their foot on the gas. 7'3" forward Connor Vanover scored seven of Arkansas' points at the beginning of the second half to give them the lead.
Both teams traded buckets throughout the second half but Mizzou just couldn't stop the Razorbacks who shot nearly 60% from the field in the second half.
Mizzou trailed 67-66 heading into the last media timeout and the action picked up.
Down two, Mark Smith grabbed a missed jumper by Davonte Davis and pushed it ahead to Dru Smith who found Parker Braun for an acrobatic layup to tie it up, 70-70.
At the other end, Braun had some more heroics. Davonte Davis drove to the basket and attempted the game-winning shot but Braun rejected it to send the game into overtime.
The momentum heading into overtime resided with the Tigers, but didn't carry over.
Mizzou went without a bucket in the final 2:51 of overtime as Arkansas got the win, 86-81.
"You hate to lose ballgames," Mizzou head basketball coach Cuonzo Martin said. "Especially when you know how much your guys put into it."
The result may have changed from that over the past five years, but the community support for fighting pediatric cancer did not.
Mizzou unofficially announced they raised $65,000 for the cause.
Sorry we couldn’t get the win for you Rhyan! But $65,000 for pediatric cancer research!!! During covid! That’s a true win! Thanks you #Miz— Torrence Watson (@TorrenceWatson) February 14, 2021
The Tigers travel to take on Georgia on the road on Tuesday.