The Missouri men’s basketball team finished fourth in this year’s College Basketball Experience Hall of Fame Classic after a heartbreaking 67-62 loss to Northwestern.
In the first half, it appeared that Missouri was still in shock from their blowout loss to Kansas State on Monday night. They only led for the first 20 seconds of the game and finished the first half down 38-24.
At halftime, coach Kim Anderson made a switch that brought the Tigers back into the game. He had originally left freshman point guard Terrence Phillips on the bench at the start of the game. For the second half, he decided that Phillips would be the man to lead Missouri’s comeback.
Anderson chose right, as Phillips scored 13 points in the second half along with three rebounds and three assists. The quick tempo that Phillips brought to the floor also opened up scoring opportunities for fellow freshman forward Kevin Puryear, who scored seven points in the second half.
It was also apparent that Anderson had stressed ball movement, something Missouri lacked against Kansas State, in the locker room. The Tigers notched eight assists and opened up numerous open shots in Northwestern’s zone defense.
With 10 minutes left in the game, Missouri had cut the deficit to six points and trailed the Wildcats, 49-43.
The Tigers made one final run in the last minute of the game. A steal from Phillips led to Puryear being fouled on a shot attempt with 34 seconds left. Missouri was down four points at the time.
Puryear made his first free throw but missed the second, forcing Missouri to resort to intentionally fouling the Wildcats. Northwestern effectively iced the game by making two out of their final four free throw attempts, giving the game a final score of 67-62.
With the loss, Missouri finished fourth out of four teams in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic. The Tigers now have a record of 2-3 on the season. Their next game will be Dec. 1 against Arkansas State at Mizzou Arena. The game is set to be televised at 8 p.m. on the SEC Network.