Missouri men’s basketball enters the 2015 Southeastern Conference tournament as the 14th seed after falling to Mississippi State 52-43 on Saturday at the Humphrey Coliseum in Starkville, Mississippi.
Mizzou’s regular season record will finish at 9-22, 3-15 in conference play. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs improved their record to 13-18, 6-12 in conference action.
The Tigers averaged 68 points given up on defense per game, but only gave up 52 points Saturday. However, the Mizzou offense could not capitalize on the above average defense displayed against the Bulldogs.
The Tigers shot 30 percent from the field Saturday, and turned the ball over 13 times, four coming from freshman guard Montaque Gill-Caesar.
Mississippi State countered with a bench-fueled attack. Until the final two minutes of the game, only one Mississippi State starter, Craig Sword, had scored. All but 17 of the Bulldogs’ points Saturday came from the bench. Six different bench players contributed to those 35 points.
Mizzou starters outscored Bulldog starters 32-17, but the Bulldog bench outscored the Mizzou bench 35-9.
Next up for the Tigers is the SEC tournament, where they will face-off against No. 11-seeded South Carolina on March 11, in Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee.
Mizzou played the Gamecocks during the regular season on Feb. 10. The Tigers lost 65-60, and sophomore guard Wes Clark was injured knocking him out for the remainder of the season.
Other game notes:
Mizzou freshman guard Namon Wright continued his hot streak with 12 points Saturday. Wright finished the regular season averaging 15 points in the final four games, highlighted by a 28-point performance Feb. 24 against Florida.
Mizzou sophomore forward Johnathan Williams III recorded his sixth double-double of the season Saturday. He scored 10 points and grabbed 12 rebounds (four offensive) in the loss.
The last time Mizzou finished last in its conference was the 1965-66 and 1966-67 seasons as a part of the Big 8 Conference. The Tigers went 1-13 both seasons in conference play.
The Tigers scored under 50 points for the fifth time this season.