Offensive struggles doom Missouri men against Texas A&M

The Tigers are now 2-7 in SEC play following another conference loss.

Two weeks removed from a heartbreaking defeat to Texas A&M, Missouri men’s basketball (10-12, 2-7 SEC) fell once again at the hands of the Aggies (10-11, 5-4 SEC), this time losing 68-51 in College Station.

The Tigers struggled to find offensive production throughout the game, with no player making more than three field goals.

Both teams experienced an ugly start to the game, combining for only seven points in the first five minutes. By the end of the first half, the Tigers and Aggies had made 13 shots and turned the ball over 22 times.

Missouri came out of the break down seven points, but playmaking from sophomore guard Javon Pickett brought the Tigers within one early in the second half. Not long after, though, Texas A&M put together a 10-0 scoring run to gain the separation it needed down the stretch.

The Aggies took further advantage of the Tigers’ foul trouble near the end of the game to lead by 17 when the buzzer sounded.

Junior forward Jeremiah Tilmon, who had been dealing with a stress fracture, returned to action for Missouri, playing 12 minutes and making one basket. Reed Nikko continued to earn significant minutes on the floor, but fouled out early.

That lack of consistency in the paint hurt the Tigers. Missouri converted only a third of its layup opportunities and was out-rebounded 49-30.

Eleven players scored for the Tigers as scarcely-used players like Axel Okongo and walk-on Evan Yerkes enjoyed extended opportunities on the floor. Redshirt junior forward Mitchell Smith finished as Missouri’s top-scorer with nine points in 33 minutes.

With an SEC record of 2-7 halfway through conference play, the Tigers face a steep challenge in the final nine regular season games of the year. They’ll look to begin the uphill climb against Arkansas (16-5, 4-4 SEC) at home on Saturday afternoon.

Edited by Wilson Moore | wmoore@themaneater.com

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