about an hour ago
COLUMBIA, Mo. – In a relentless back-and-forth through the buzzer, the Missouri men’s basketball team earned their fourth straight victory Saturday in front of a sold-out crowd of 15,061 fans at Mizzou Arena, defeating Ole Miss, 82-77.
With the win, the Tigers improve to 23-8 overall and 11-7 in conference — Mizzou’s most wins since 2013-14, while also tying their best SEC win total with 11. Missouri has also earned a double bye to the SEC Tournament for the first time, earning the No. 4 seed at next week’s championship. Ole Miss fell to 11-20 and 3-15 against SEC foes.
Four Tigers scored in double figures with seniors Kobe Brown and Noah Carter leading on the senior day with 17 points apiece. Graduate guards DeAndre Gholston and D’Moi Hodge had 15 and 14 points, respectively.
Brown also led BU with seven rebounds, while graduate student Nick Honor led the offense with five assists.
In a game that featured 18 lead changes and 11 draws, it’s no surprise the result was decided only at the last minute. Hodge splashed a three with just under 2:30 to go, which got the capacity crowd going, giving the Tigers a 74-72 lead they wouldn’t give up.
A defensive save followed by an attacking tip provided another opportunity for Gholston to score one and advanced the lead to 76-72 with 70 seconds remaining. Mizzou brought it home from there, going 6-for-7 from the charity strip in the final minute and dispatching his senior class of nine with a win, the team’s fourth straight.
In the first half, Mizzou took a double-digit lead only for a run on both sides of halftime setting up the close conclusion. Trailing by one point, Mizzou surged 18-6 to take an 11, 35-24 lead. Ole Miss, however, would not go easy, finishing the opening period on an 8-2 run before adding another 8-2 push to start the second. Overall, the 16-4 streak earned the visitors a point, setting up a second half where neither side would lead by more than four points until the final minute of play.
Missouri shot 55.2% from the floor, scoring its second-highest game percentage in SEC play this season, helped by making 60.9% of its field goals in the second half. The Rebels made 50.9% of their field goals but were also forced into 16 turnovers, with the Tigers picking up 11 interceptions on the day.
Mizzou begins his postseason campaign next week in Nashville, Tennessee at the SEC Tournament. The Tigers jumped over Tennessee to finish as the No. 4 seed and open their quest for a title in the quarterfinals around 2:30 p.m. Friday.