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Missouri men’s basketball falls to Wichita State 61-55 as woes on offense continue

·2 min read

Missouri men’s basketball lost a defensive battle to Wichita State 61-55 on Friday night at Mizzou Arena in Columbia.

It was yet another sluggish performance on offense for the Tigers (3-3), who shot 23 for 66 (34.8%) from the field and made just 2 of 18 (11.1%) of their three-point attempts. The loss marked their worst shooting night all season and their third straight game shooting under 40% from the field.

“I thought in most cases they were open threes tonight, they just didn’t fall,” coach Cuonzo Martin said. “We’re missing too many at the rim and layups. We have to be better because for some reason we’re not making layups.”

Though it was a defensive struggle through and through, the Shockers (5-1) made the most of their chances and managed their best shooting night of the season, making 23 of 49 shots (46.9%) from the floor.

The Tigers were out-rebounded 41-35 and made 7 of 13 shots (53.8%) at the charity stripe. They were outscored by six points in the paint. And though they forced 18 turnovers, they were only able to score eight fast break points.

“Our goal is to play fast,” Jarron “Boogie” Coleman said. “So if we get a turnover, that’s the best way for us to play and we definitely have to better converting on those points.”

Missouri fell behind early as Wichita State opened on a 9-2 run. But instead of letting things get out of control as it did last time, when Florida State went on a 9-2 run out of the gates, Missouri locked down on defense.

In the final 10 minutes of the first half, Missouri held Wichita State to just eight points and didn’t allow reigning co-American Athletic Conference player of the year Tyson Etienne to make a shot.

Etienne, though, eventually heated up in the second half and finished with 18 points and five rebounds.

“You don’t want to allow a guy like that to get comfortable,” Martin said.

Mizzou trailed Wichita State 26-23 at halftime, marking the fifth consecutive game that it hasn’t reached the 25-point mark in the opening frame. Both teams shot under 40% in the first half.

WSU coach Isaac Brown got a technical foul with under 18 minutes remaining in the game and Coleman went to the free-throw line with a chance for Missouri to take the lead. But he made 1 of 2 shots to tie the game 26-26.

Fired up by their coach, the Shockers went on a 12-4 run, extending their lead to 41-30 with under 11 minutes left in the contest as Mizzou went on a scoring drought of over six minutes.

Though they made it close in the final minute, the Tigers trailed the rest of the way.

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