Free throws not enough as Missouri loses to Alabama

The Crimson Tide knocked down 13 3-pointers as Missouri lost its fourth conference contest of the year.

To look at the box score from Missouri’s loss to Alabama creates an incongruous picture of scoring compared to efficiency.

The Tigers’ two leading scorers, Dru and Mark Smith, combined for 33 points, but shot 9-28 from the field. As a team, Missouri had its second-highest output in conference play, but shot under 30%.

It was free throws that allowed the Tigers to stay in the game. Missouri (9-8,1-4 SEC) made all 31 of its attempts from the charity stripe — a school record — but it wasn’t enough to mask the holes in the Tigers’ overall game as they fell to Alabama (10-7, 2-3 SEC) 88-74.

While Missouri was hot from the free throw line, Alabama began the game with a barrage of 3-pointers, starting with Alex Reese’s make on the Tide’s first possession. Of Alabama’s first 30 points, 24 came from beyond the arc for the Southeastern Conference’s leader in both 3-point attempts and makes.

Despite a poor offensive performance from the floor and Alabama’s hot shooting, Missouri still found itself in the game in the second half, getting as close as three points from the Tide twice in the last eight minutes of the game.

But the Tigers just couldn’t match Alabama’s firepower on either end enough to mount a comeback. In the last ten minutes, Missouri followed up a score with a stop on the other end just once.

The loss is Missouri’s second straight and fourth in conference play.

The Tigers return home for its next game to play Texas A&M on Tuesday.

Edited by Eli Hoff | ehoff@themaneater.com

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