Oklahoma's postseason hopes took another major hit Tuesday night in a heartbreaking 72-68 loss to Missouri in Columbia.
The Sooners led by as many as six points in the first half, but blew the lead as Missouri closed the first half with a 19-6 run to take a 35-28 halftime lead.
But Oklahoma battled back to begin the second half and regained the lead on a Mike Neal 3-pointer with 16:03 to go. From that point on, the lead changed hands eight times until Missouri tied the game at 64-64 with 1:49 to play.
Neal was then fouled on OU's next possession, but missed the first of a one-and-one from the free throw line, which Missouri rebounded with 1:21 to go. Thirty-two seconds later, Tiger freshman Keon Lawrence hit a fade-away jumper from the free throw to give Missouri a 66-64 lead with 49 seconds left.
The Sooners had a chance to tie the game on their next possession, but Taylor Griffin missed the first of a one-and-one from the free throw line. However, Griffin rebounded the ball and passed the ball to Neal, who missed from 3-point range. Griffin rebounded the miss, but his putback attempt was cleanly blocked, per the officials, and knocked out of bounds off of Griffin's foot.
Missouri then iced the game going 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the final 22 seconds.
Despite his 5-for-16 shooting performance, Neal led the way for the Sooners with 18 points. Nate Carter chipped in 12 points and seven rebounds and David Godbold finished with 10.
Freshman point guard Bobby Maze earned his first start and was impressive scoring seven points, dishing five assists and committing just two turnovers against the Tigers' fullcourt pressure defnese.
The Sooners outrebounded the Tigers 37-33, but Missouri shot 49 percent from the field to OU's 40 percent. The Tigers also shot 76 percent (16-21) from the free throw line to the Sooners' uncharacteristic 56 percent (9-16).
With the loss OU falls to 15-11 overall and 6-7 in Big 12 play, while the Tigers improved to 17-9 overall and 6-7 in conference action. OU is currently in a three-way tie for fifth-place in the standings with Missouri and Texas Tech.
Oklahoma will return to the Lloyd Noble Center Saturday for a 3 p.m. showdown against No. 18 Texas (20-7).
Stats | Quotes
MBB Final: Missouri 72 Oklahoma 68
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