Same old story in another Missouri loss

It's starting to get a little tired. No. 10 Missouri might not have that number in front of it any longer after another bad start led to another close defeat, this time a 61-59 loss at Memphis.

Different location. Same story. Same result.

Four days after its comeback fell short against Illinois, Missouri again trailed early and mounted a comeback against Memphis only to fall short in a 61-59 loss on Saturday.

Missouri guard Jimmy McKinney missed a running 35-footer as time expired after Rickey Paulding's 3-pointer with 4.5 seconds left brought Missouri to within 60-59. No. 10 Missouri dropped to 4-3.

Missouri has now gone 80 straight minutes without having the lead. After never leading against Illinois, Missouri watched Memphis jump to a quick 17-9 lead, which eventually became 31-16. Missouri made only six of its first 30 shots and shot only 24 percent in the first half.

Memphis led 35-26 at the half, and Missouri was able to keep the lead at five or six points for much of the half, but Memphis widened the lead to 54-45 with less than five minutes left. Missouri responded with an 8-0 run, with a McKinney 3-pointer bringing Missouri to within one with 3:06 left.

In the end, though, the result was the same as it was against Illinois, and Missouri suffered its third loss in four games, and very well could drop out of the top 25 in both polls. It doesn't get much easier for Missouri, either. After a home game against Belmont, Missouri plays Iowa at home and then goes to Iowa State, where it suffered a double-digit loss last season. After that, Missouri hosts Texas A&M and then defending champion Syracuse.

Perhaps after such a tough stretch, Missouri will find out if it is more than only a second-half team.

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