Tigers fall to Arkansas, 75-46
Dec. 09, 1997
There's a new suburban community in Fayetteville, Ark., courtesy of the MU basketball team. The Tigers threw up enough bricks during Saturday's MU-Arkansas game to house a small country.
Missouri (2-4) shot 16-for-62 from the field in its 75-46 loss to the No. 16 Razorbacks (6-0). Arkansas' swarming defense caused trouble for MU, which turned the ball over a season-high 32 times.
But the real problem was Missouri itself. The Tigers shot themselves in the foot instead of shooting the ball into the basket, despite numerous open opportunities.
"We got good looks but we couldn't make the shots," said Tyron Lee, who led MU with 11 points on 3-for-16 shooting.
MU's three leading scorers - Lee, John Woods and Kelly Thames - shot a combined 8-for-36 for Missouri, which now has lost its last four games. MU's 2-4 record is the worst start in Norm Stewart's 31 years as coach.
"Arkansas plays a defense that requires a fundamental game," Stewart said. "We don't have a fundamental game. We're too young."
MU led the game only once, 3-2, at which point Arkansas fired off on a 13-0 run. From there the Razorbacks never looked back. Tarik Wallace led Arkansas' balanced scoring attack with 16 points.
Perhaps more entertaining than the game itself, which was decided by halftime, was the war of words between Stewart and Razorback coach Nolan Richardson after the game. This was the most recent in a 10-year series of games, Arkansas having won six of the last seven.
"It's not really a rivalry," Richardson said. "Rivalries occur when you're splitting a lot."
For his part, Stewart spared no words either.
"The series has been split. I'm not really sad it's over, Stewart said. "I don't think Arkansas is as strong as it used to be."
Whether Stewart's analysis is correct, the Razorbacks certainly took it to the Tigers on Saturday. Arkansas was especially aggressive to freshman point guard Brian Grawer.
"It was difficult, but I handled it pretty well," Grawer said. "I don't think I've ever played against a point guard that quick."
The Tigers, desperately in need of a win, have some good news on the horizon. Their next three games all come at home against probable cannon fodder Oral Roberts, Southeast Missouri State and Sam Houston State.