Missouri closes regular season with loss to Auburn

The Missouri men’s basketball team finished the regular season 7-23.
Maneater File Photo

An early dunk from Auburn senior T.J. Dunans gave an early indication that Saturday’s game would be an ugly one for Missouri men’s basketball.

Dunans intercepted an ill-advised pass attempt from Missouri freshman Frankie Hughes and proceeded to make a highlight reel dunk. The score gave Auburn an early 14-8 lead.

Disarray followed for the Tigers from Columbia as they struggled to stop the efficient Tigers from Auburn. Missouri could not catch up after Dunans’ dunk as Auburn comfortably won 89-78 at Auburn Arena on Saturday.

With the loss, Missouri (7-23, 2-16) has gone three seasons without a true road victory. The 7-23 record is also the worst finish under Missouri coach Kim Anderson, who is in his third season coaching the Tigers.

Here’s what you need to know from Missouri’s latest loss:

Auburn couldn’t miss, but Missouri sure could

Missouri’s poor defensive play gave Auburn plenty of opportunities to score, and the Auburn Tigers took advantage.

In the first 10 minutes, Auburn made 13 of 15 field goal attempts. It shot 68.8 percent from the floor in the first half.

While Auburn made shot after shot, Missouri struggled to find any offensive momentum. Missouri shot 33.3 percent from the floor in the first half.

Three-point shooting helped Missouri jump out to an 8-4 lead, but it failed to maintain success shooting from behind the arc. Missouri never regained a lead after that point.

Despite a frequent lack of success from the three-point line, Missouri attempted 38 three-point shots, the most in program history for one game. The Tigers made 13 of those 38 attempts.

Puryear performs

Missouri sophomore forward Kevin Puryear put together one of his better performances this season against Auburn.

Puryear scored 19 points and went 10 for 12 from the free-throw line. He also grabbed eight rebounds.

His 19 points fell just one point short of the game high. Auburn freshman Mustapha Heron scored 20 points.

Up next

Missouri will receive the No. 14 seed in the Southeastern Conference tournament. The Tigers will face the No. 11 seed, which will be Auburn.

That game will be played at 8 p.m. Wednesday and televised on the SEC Network.

Edited by Eli Lederman | elederman@themaneater.com

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