Missouri loses to Baylor 81-80

Missouri came out quickly against a pesky Baylor Bear basketball team on Saturday night, but lost momentum when Baylor turned up their defensive intensity. Unfortunately, a furious late second half comeback wasn't enough for the up and down Tigers.

While the official stats are unavailable at the time this story is being written, late in the game, Baylor held an 18-1 advantage in steals vs. Missouri.

That stat tells you all you need to know about this game. Baylor played tougher and smarter on defense than did Missouri and that was the difference in the game.

Sure, Missouri shot themselves back into the game late in the second half, but they couldn't figure out Dave Bliss' high post passing offense all night. Baylor seemingly had open shots anytime they wanted to work for one vs. Missouri.

And contrary to what some of the post-game quotes indicated, Baylor wasn't doing anything tricky or tough to figure out. The Bears offense looked like a college version of the Utah Jazz' offense over the past dozen years. Set a high screen and role, get the ball near the lane and kick it out to the open shooter.

However, Missouri was consistently baffled by Baylor's passing.

Kareem Rush scored 29 points, while Gilbert and Johnson pitching in 18 and 12 points respectively.

Even with their defensive deficiencies, Missouri still had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation. With 7.2 seconds to play, Kareem Rush received the ball, dribbled into traffic, and shot an errant fall away jumper with plenty of time left on the clock.

Either Rush didn't realize how much time was left, or he figured that either Paulding or Johnson could get his rebound considering everybody had come up to guard him.

It was a poor inbounds play, and Rush should have shown the judgement to find an open shooter instead of forcing a bad shot.

It's not enough to get the ball to your best shooter with seven seconds to play...you want to get it to him in a position where he can get off a good shot or get fouled in the process and perhaps force overtime or win from the line.

Neither happened and Baylor held on to a one-point win.

As questionable as the last sequence was, it is representative of the Tigers' season to date. Missouri rarely makes the extra pass, and is even more rarely patient on offense.

Black & Gold Illustrated Top Stories