The Missouri Tigers suffered their first loss of the season Tuesday night, falling to the Georgetown Hoyas in overtime 111-102.
The Tigers surged back from an 18-point deficit to take the lead, but missed crucial free throws with under a minute remaining to give the Hoyas an opportunity.
Sophomore guard Michael Dixon, who missed a free throw that would have put the Tigers up four points with only seconds remaining, said there are no excuses for how the game turned out.
“I just missed the free throw, there’s no excuse,” Dixon said. “I kind of pride myself on shooting free throws, and I take responsibility for that, I kind of let my team down. There are about 50 different things you could say if it went the other way in this game we could have won, but I’m a point guard and point guards make free throws.”
Capitalizing on the miss, Georgetown senior guard Chris Wright hit a three-pointer as time expired to force overtime, and junior guard Jason Clark hit three treys in the extra period to earn the victory. Clark finished with 26 points, while senior guard Austin Freeman led all scorers with 31 points. Missouri finished 23-31 from the free throw line, while Georgetown was a perfect 18-18 from the charity stripe.
Georgetown was lights out from the field in the first half, hitting 13 of its first 16 shots to jump out to an early lead. However, the tenacious Missouri defense forced turnovers and brought the game within reach. Junior guard Marcus Denmon paced the Tigers with a career-high 27 points and 6 rebounds on an efficient 10 of 12 shooting.
“Our defense got us back in the game, but we’ve got to zero in and knock in free throws,” Denmon said. “It's not every day a whole team goes perfect from the free throw line, but that’s the goal. They did it and we didn’t, and that’s the difference in games.”
Junior transfer Ricardo Ratliffe had another big game for the Tigers after being named Big 12 Rookie of the Week following a stellar performance in the Cancun Challenge. The 6-8 forward had a career-high 22 points and 7 rebounds in the loss.
Although Missouri’s trademark “fastest 40 minutes in basketball” usually flusters opposing teams, Georgetown coach John Thompson III said his team was not concerned with pace.
“ We don’t worry about pace,” Thompson said. “We just want to get a good shot whether that takes three seconds or 33 seconds. We never come into a game determined to play fast or slow.”
Missouri fell to 5-1 on the season, while Georgetown remained undefeated at 7-0. Despite the loss, Dixon said this game will help the Tigers improve their play.
“These are the games when you’re a little kid you live to play,” Dixon said. “It was our first huge game, and we fought but we didn’t step up. We can use this as a wakeup call to get back in the win column.”