Tigers come up short in championship game

The Missouri Tigers came up short in the championship game of the South Padre Invitational

On Saturday evening, the Richmond Spiders (6-1) captured the championship of the South Padre Island Invitational with a 59-52 win over the Missouri Tigers (4-1). 
After the game, Missouri Head coach Mike Anderson talked about the Tigers' disappointing play.  "We got a championship effort from Richmond, and we just didn't match their intensity level........... You could just see the rhythm was very much to the liking of Richmond.........  We didn't move the ball, and we didn't get the ball to the right people, and we didn't make shots."


Richmond had little trouble with Missouri's press, passing the ball crisply into the front court, and controlled the pace of the game throughout.  Richmond committed only 14 turnovers for the game, and shot 40% from the field.  Missouri won the battle of the boards 34-33, but made only 33% of their shots, including 18% from behind the 3-PT line.  Missouri only had 5 assists, and committed 12 turnovers.


Richmond is a good team, with good players, and outplayed Missouri on both ends of the court for enough of the game to gain the victory.  Richmond guard Kevin Anderson controlled the pace of the game.  Missouri didn't play with their trademark ferocity on defense, and failed to display intelligence on the offensive end.  Missouri had trouble making shots, but a lot of that was due to poor shot selection, and too many attempts at one-on-one offense that turned into poor, or contested shots.  Also, credit goes to Richmond's good defensive play, in both man-to-man, and later in the game, a packed-in zone.


Coach Anderson took the blame for his team's poor play.  "We had some bad decisions, turnovers at the wrong time.  But, hats off to Richmond.  We'll get better from it.  I'll take the blame on this one.  We'll get back in the gym and get ready (for Vanderbilt).............. We're trying to find our identity.  We just came up a little short.  It wasn't because of a lack of effort."


I thought that Missouri played well for the first half of the semi-final game on Friday night against ODU, but didn't play with the same intensity or mindset for the final three halves in South Padre.  Missouri's defensive intensity in that first half on Friday was good enough to "hang our hat on".  But, the Tigers didn't continue to play at that level for the remainder of the tournament.


Coach Anderson shortened his playing rotation in South Padre, as only seven Missouri players averaged more than ten minutes per game.  Five guys averaged twenty-four or more minutes per game, and Zaire Taylor averaged thirty-five minutes.  Now, I think Mike Anderson is the best to ever coach basketball at Missouri, but I'm not in agreement with what appears to be his tendency to shorten his bench during tournament play.  From my perspective, "the fastest forty minutes" works best when Coach Anderson utilizes the depth of his bench more than he did in South Padre.   In addition, I would expect that at this time of year, developing the bench would be more of a priority.


The lack of intensity displayed by the Tigers had me scratching my head, but what was even more perplexing was their failure to share the ball in their usual fashion.  Coach Anderson addressed the need for his forwards to do more scoring, and I agree.  But, in order for the forwards on this team to score, the guards have to move the ball, and they all have to work together to get high percentage shots.  I saw too much dribbling, and too many forced drives and shots, instead of quick, crisp passing, and movement without the ball.  Well, it's back in the gym to re-find their identity.


It's a quick turn-around, as Missouri's next game is Wednesday (8:30 P.M., ESPNU) at Vanderbilt.
Box Score
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Missouri 4-1
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
04 Tiller, J.T......... *  2-6    0-1    7-7    1  4  5   3  11  1  3  0  0  28
11 Taylor, Zaire....... *  1-8    0-3    5-7    1  1  2   4   7  1  0  0  2  35
12 Denmon, Marcus...... *  1-2    0-1    0-0    0  1  1   0   2  1  3  0  0  18
15 Ramsey, Keith....... *  0-0    0-0    0-0    0  4  4   3   0  0  0  1  0  24
23 Safford, Justin..... *  2-4    1-1    0-0    1  1  2   4   5  0  1  0  0  10
03 Paul, Miguel........    0-1    0-0    0-2    0  0  0   0   0  0  0  0  0   8
10 DIXON, Michael......    2-7    1-2    0-0    1  0  1   0   5  0  1  0  0   8
21 Bowers, Laurence....    4-8    0-0    0-0    5  3  8   2   8  1  0  1  1  29
24 English, Kim........    4-12   0-3    6-7    1  1  2   2  14  1  2  0  3  28
32 Moore, Steve........    0-1    0-0    0-0    0  3  3   2   0  0  0  1  0  12
   TEAM................                         2  4  6             2
   Totals..............   16-49   2-11  18-23  12 22 34  20  52  5 12  3  6 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half:  9-27 33.3%   2nd Half:  7-22 31.8%   Game: 32.7%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  2-7  28.6%   2nd Half:  0-4   0.0%   Game: 18.2%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  6-9  66.7%   2nd Half: 12-14 85.7%   Game: 78.3%    2
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Richmond 6-1
                          TOT-FG  3-PT         REBOUNDS
## Player Name            FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF  TP  A TO BLK S MIN
05 GONZALVEZ, David.... *  6-13   3-6    3-4    1  0  1   2  18  2  2  0  3  38
14 ANDERSON, Kevin..... *  4-15   0-2    6-8    1  5  6   1  14  5  6  0  1  39
32 HARPER, Justin...... *  3-6    0-0    0-0    0  3  3   5   6  0  2  0  0  14
41 GERIOT, Dan......... *  1-4    0-1    1-2    1  4  5   4   3  2  1  0  0  19
44 BUTLER, Ryan........ *  2-3    1-2    4-4    0  2  2   4   9  2  0  0  0  24
01 GARRETT, Darrius....    1-2    0-0    0-0    2  1  3   1   2  0  0  1  0  11
11 DUINKER, Josh.......    1-2    0-0    1-1    0  2  2   1   3  1  0  0  0  21
12 SMITH, Kevin........    1-2    0-1    2-3    3  3  6   1   4  0  1  1  0  22
15 MARTEL, Francis.....    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  1  1   1   0  1  0  0  1  11
22 ROBBINS, Greg.......    0-0    0-0    0-0    0  0  0   1   0  0  0  0  0   1
   TEAM................                         1  3  4             2
   Totals..............   19-47   4-12  17-22   9 24 33  21  59 13 14  2  5 200
TOTAL FG% 1st Half: 12-24 50.0%   2nd Half:  7-23 30.4%   Game: 40.4%  DEADB
3-Pt. FG% 1st Half:  3-6  50.0%   2nd Half:  1-6  16.7%   Game: 33.3%   REBS
F Throw % 1st Half:  6-8  75.0%   2nd Half: 11-14 78.6%   Game: 77.3%    2
Score by Periods                1st  2nd   Total
Missouri......................   26   26  -   52
Richmond......................   33   26  -   59


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