Tigers Go Down In 2nd Round

Tigers Go Down In 2nd Round

The Tigers lose in the second round to West Virginia 68-59 in NCAA's

On Sunday afternoon in Buffalo, the Missouri Tigers' (23-11, 10-7) season came to an end with a 68-59 loss to the #2 seeded West Virginia Mountaineers (29-6, 16-5), in the second round of the East Regional of the NCAA Tournament.

The Tigers trailed 30-25 at the intermission, as West Virginia enjoyed the benefit of the whistle, and had gone to the line 10 times in the first half, while Missouri had attempted only 2 FTs in the first 20 minutes. It seemed like all of the close calls went the Mountaineers' way, as well as a couple of missed calls that just weren't that close.

For the Mountaineers, Da'Sean Butler got off early, and went to the locker room with 19 first-half points. Some wear and tear was starting to show late in the first half, although West Virginia had committed only 3 turnovers before intermission, while the Tigers had turned it over 6 times. The Tigers held their own on the boards in the first half, and had gotten a big boost off the bench from Michael Dixon's 7 points, and from Steve Moore's stellar defensive play. Coach Anderson had removed both Zaire Taylor and Kim English in the first half for trying to do too much individually on the offensive end during the first half, dribbling too much, and turning it over. Marcus Denmon continued to struggle from behind the 3-PT line, and only played 13 minutes in the game.

At the start of the second half, the Tigers made a concerted effort to attack the basket, and the fouls started to even out a little. Dixon came in and gave Missouri another big lift, finishing with a team-high 15 points, but committed a grave mistake when he fouled Butler on a 3-PT shot attempt from the corner. Butler continued to carry West Virginia on the offensive end, finishing with 28 points.

Coming out of the under 8 minute TV timeout, Coach Anderson re-inserted his entire starting line-up, clearly intending to close out the game with his veteran players, and the Tigers continued to turn up the defensive pressure, but often failed to cash in on their opportunities on the offensive end. Coach Anderson played only 8 guys, severely shortening his bench against the bigger and more physical Mountaineers, as 4 Missouri players played at least 30 minutes. In the end, the Tigers came up short.

Missouri had held their own on the boards, as West Virginia out-rebounded Missouri 36-32. The Mountaineers finished the game with only 9 turnovers, a statistic that was not unrelated to a big advantage they enjoyed at the charity stripe, where WVU converted 25-33 FTs, to Missouri's 12-20 FTs. Missouri took better care of the ball in the second half, and totaled 13 assists for the game on 20 made baskets. There's no question that those numbers could have been higher had the Tigers simply made more of their shots.

This is the end of their Missouri careers for 3 seniors, J.T. Tiller, Zaire Taylor, and Keith Ramsey.>

Box Score Missouri Tigers

STARTERS M FG 3FG FT OR TR A TO STL BLK PF PTS Z. Taylor, G 35 3-10 3-7 1-2 2 5 2 1 2 0 3 10 L. Bowers, F 33 3-8 0-0 0-2 7 9 1 0 0 4 4 6 J. Tiller, G 30 2-9 0-1 9-12 1 4 4 0 2 0 3 13 K. Ramsey, F 30 2-9 0-0 1-2 5 8 1 1 1 1 4 5 K. English, G 26 4-12 2-7 0-0 0 3 1 4 1 0 5 10 BENCH M FG 3FG FT OR TR A TO STL BLK PF PTS M. Dixon Jr., G 17 6-10 2-4 1-2 0 1 1 0 0 0 2 15 S. Moore, C 16 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 2 2 0 0 3 1 0 M. Denmon, G 13 0-3 0-2 0-0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 T. Stone, F Did Not Play J. Sutton, G Did Not Play J. Underwood, F Did Not Play M. Paul, G Did Not Play J. Safford, F Did Not Play Totals 20-61 7-21 12-20 16 32 13 7 6 8 23 59 32.8% 33.3% 60.0%

West Virginia Mountaineers STARTERS M FG 3FG FT OR TR A TO STL BLK PF PTS D. Ebanks, F 39 3-9 0-0 8-10 1 7 3 1 2 1 1 14 D. Butler, F 38 6-14 4-9 12-13 1 8 2 3 1 2 1 28 K. Jones, F 35 4-9 1-3 4-6 5 9 0 0 1 1 0 13 W. Smith, F 23 1-3 0-1 0-0 1 4 2 0 0 0 4 2 D. Bryant, G 16 2-3 0-0 0-0 0 2 1 1 0 0 2 4 BENCH M FG 3FG FT OR TR A TO STL BLK PF PTS J. Mazzulla, G 24 1-5 0-1 1-2 1 3 2 2 0 0 4 3 C. Thoroughman, F 17 2-2 0-0 0-2 0 2 2 1 0 0 3 4 J. Flowers, F 5 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 C. Mitchell, G 3 0-2 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 D. Jennings, F Did Not Play D. Kilicli, F Did Not Play B. Lowther, G Did Not Play C. Payne, G Did Not Play D. Pepper, G Did Not Play K. Ross, G Did Not Play J. West, G Did Not Play Totals 19-47 5-15 25-33 9 36 12 9 4 5 15 68 40.4% 33.3% 75.8%

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