Missouri ends non-conference play with disappointing 81-76 loss to Lipscomb

Missouri's Russell Woods finished with 10 points and eight rebounds. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
AP

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Nathan Moran shot 5-for-10 from 3-point range and led all scorers with 22 points to help Lipscomb defeat Missouri 81-76 Thursday.

It’s the Bisons’ first win over a Power Five opponent since 2008.

Garrison Matthews had 16 points and six rebounds despite fouling out with 2:09 remaining, and Josh Williams and Rob Marberry scored 14 points apiece for Lipscomb (7-9).

Jordan Geist led the way for Missouri (5-7), scoring 18 points in his first start for the Tigers, including 12 in the first half.

Jordan Barnett scored 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in his first collegiate start, and Kevin Puryear finished with 14 points and six rebounds. Barnett, a St. Louis native who transferred from Texas in the middle of last season, had 10 points and nine rebounds in the second half.

“The bottom line of this is you’ve got to make shots,” Missouri coach Kim Anderson said. “I could sit here and draw up plays and do everything else, but at some point, we’ve just got to have that confidence to step up and make shots.”

Missouri’s free-throw shooting offset its otherwise poor offensive performance in the first half. The Tigers made 15-of-18 free-throw attempts but shot just 36 percent from the field, including 27.3 percent from 3-point range. Geist was the only hot hand for Missouri, shooting 3-for-4 in the first half, including 2 of 3 3-pointers.

The Bisons had a 41-36 halftime lead and led for 31:32. Missouri crashed the boards in the second half, outrebounding Lipscomb 28-17 and using the extra possessions to mount a 13-4 run, eventually taking a 67-62 lead with 5:40 remaining.

Missouri missed key free throws late, including Russell Woods’ 0-for-2 trip as the Tigers trailed 71-70 with under two minutes remaining. Woods finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.

“It came down to just making free throws,” Geist said. “They made their free throws, we didn’t. We’ve got to get more stops. … When we’re not shooting the ball that well, we’ve got to get stops on defense.”

The Tigers played without freshmen Willie Jackson and Frankie Hughes, both natives of Cleveland who played together at Garfield High School. Hours before tipoff, Jackson announced his intent to transfer out of the program in order to be closer to home and tend to family matters. He averaged 5.9 points per game and 4.6 rebounds in 17 minutes per game. Anderson confirmed Hughes is not suspended, but did not participate in practice or play per Anderson’s decision.

“Whatever happens, happens,” Barnett said of his teammates’ situations. “We can’t do anything about it. We wish them the best of luck, but we have no choice but to move on.”

BIG PICTURE

Lipscomb: This is the Bisons’ first Power Five win since defeating Indiana 74-69 on Dec. 28, 2008, and their first win over a Southeastern Conference opponent since 1951, when they defeated Vanderbilt 59-57.

Missouri: Hughes is Missouri’s second-leading scorer, averaging 11.8 points per game. He started in the Tigers’ first 11 games and posted a career-high 24 points in an 83-82 overtime loss to then 11th-ranked Xavier on Nov. 17.

POLITICAL PRESENCE

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon was in attendance. Nixon will hold the position until Jan. 9, when Republican Eric Greitens is sworn in.

TURNING POINT

Down the stretch Missouri was forced to foul to extend the game and maintain a one-possession deficit. The Tigers committed five fouls in the final 38 seconds, but Lipscomb made 8 of 10 free-throw attempts to seal the game.

“Down the stretch, we couldn’t make free throws,” Anderson said. “That’s the difference in the game.”

UP NEXT

Missouri hosts LSU on Jan. 4. LSU defeated Missouri 80-71 on March 1 in Baton Rouge.