Tigers miss three straight 3-pointers in 85-79 loss to Auburn
AUBURN, Ala. — Cinmeon Bowers flexed his muscles for the crowd after making a late basket and drawing a foul, and did it with his play the rest of the night.
Bowers collected 20 points and 14 rebounds, many off his own misses, to lead Auburn to an 85-79 victory over Missouri on Saturday night.
As for the flex: "I just felt like doing something," he said.
Malcolm Canada scored the final six points for Auburn (9-6, 1-1 Southeastern Conference), which trailed by eight points early in the second half.
Keith Shamburger led Missouri (7-8, 1-1) with a season-high 21 points, making 5 of 9 3-pointers.
Bowers powered for a basket with 1:30 left, flexing before the first of his three straight free throw misses. Wes Clark then hit a quick 3-pointer for his eighth straight point, making it 79-77.
Canada hit a jumper and then made four consecutive free throws over the final 21 seconds to seal the win while Missouri missed three straight 3-pointers.
"We got behind, came back, they made a run," Missouri coach Kim Anderson said. "We didn’t make the plays we needed to at the end but I was really proud of the way we fought. We’ve been a little banged up and a little short at the guard spot, but we hung in there.
"Down the stretch, we couldn’t stop the dribble penetration and couldn’t keep them off the line."
KT Harrell added 14 points for Auburn while K.C. Ross-Miller had 13 points and five assists before fouling out. Canada scored 10 points.
Bowers made repeated trips to the free-throw line, thanks in part to nine offensive rebounds. He made 11 of 18 free throws and hit both attempts after Keanau Post was called for a flagrant foul in the second half.
"When he did that, I knew it was war time," Bowers said. "It sparked me up. I can’t play silent. I like to talk a lot of junk."
Clark finished with 16 points and Tramaine Isabell had 12 points and four assists for Missouri.
Auburn grabbed the lead for good with an 11-0 run capped by Canada’s free throw with 3:28 left for a 74-67 edge.
Shamburger hit two free throws and Clark made a basket and subsequent foul shot to cut it to 74-72 less than a minute later.
Missouri trailed by as many as eight points before starting a 13-0 run that carried over into the second half. Shamburger’s two free throws with five seconds left cut the deficit to 41-40 at halftime.
Then Missouri scored the first nine points after the half, capped by Shamburger’s 3-pointer to go ahead 49-41.
Antoine Mason gave Auburn the lead back with a layup and 3-pointer for his first points of the night.
"Their energy kind of took over the game," Clark said. "They played a little bit harder than us the last three minutes."
Missouri: Leading scorer Johnathan Williams III had nine points and eight rebounds but also committed five turnovers.
Auburn: Made 10 of 19 3-pointers (52.6 percent). Hit 25 of 37 free throws (67.6 percent).
Missouri: Visits No. 1 Kentucky on Tuesday.
Auburn: Visits Florida on Thursday night.
Bowers reached double digits in both scoring and rebounds for the ninth time this season, and did it with ex-Auburn and NBA star Charles Barkley in the stands. He came into the game as one of only three major conference players averaging a double-double.
Tahj Shamsid-Deen scored six points during the second-half spurt. He had totaled three points in the previous three games while nursing a shoulder injury.