Missouri fights back but falls in overtime to No. 21 Xavier

Dru Smith finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.

In the first half, Missouri looked like its old 2018-19 self.

The Tigers turned the ball over 13 times and fell behind by double digits late in the half against No. 21 Xavier. They kept the game within reach, but Jeremiah Tilmon’s foul trouble kept him on the bench for most of the half.

Missouri couldn’t find a rhythm offensively at the start. Its first 3-pointer came at the buzzer when Mark Smith trimmed Xavier’s lead to 28-21. Dru Smith kept the Tigers in it with 8 points and five rebounds but the team shot 26% from the field.

When the Tigers saw the Musketeer lead go up to ten in the second half, they answered with a 14-0 run and six different players contributed to the scoring. They maintained a small lead for the rest of the half.

With Missouri clinging to a one-point lead with 1:15 to play, sophomore Xavier Pinson drove down the lane and threw down a jam. The Musketeers hit two free throws on the next possession bringing closing the Tiger gap to 49-48.

Pinson answered again with a jumper but junior forward Naji Marshall answered for Xavier, like he did all night, draining a 3-pointer to tie the game with 26 seconds to play. Marshall recorded 17 points, eight rebounds and three assists. Pinson finished with 9 points off the bench.

After Mark Smith’s shot missed at the end of regulation, the teams went to overtime tied at 51.

Xavier threw the first punch in overtime, scoring the first five points. Even as it built a seven-point lead with just over a minute remaining, Missouri clawed back and cut the lead to two with a Torrence Watson 3-pointer and two Dru Smith free throws. But the Tigers were forced to foul and Xavier sunk its free throws sealing a 63-58 win.

Dru Smith finished with 22 points, a career-high 10 rebounds and four assists which gave him his first career double-double.

The Tigers will look to improve to 3-1 in their matchup at home against Wofford on Monday Nov. 18.

Edited by Wilson Moore | wmoore@themaneater.com

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