The Missouri Tigers won their first game in the NIT Tournament last night over Davidson with the final score 85-77. They will play the winner of Southern Mississippi and Toledo in round 2.
Missouri: Jabari Brown – 30 Pts, 2 Reb, 2 Ast
Georgia: De’Mon Brooks – 29 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Ast
Fans were clearly disappointed when they found out that the Tigers were going to be playing in the NIT instead of NCAA tournament. The turnout for the game couldn’t have been more than 3,000 people.
The team at least seemed enthusiastic about letting fans see some offense. The Missouri defense once again failed to pickup players off of screens. Several times there were men left wide open to attempt 3 pointers with no one within 10 ft.
At least twice a Davidson player got a pass into the post that the post player had to take a second because he couldn’t see a defender. Meanwhile the defense was so far away that even with a confused pause no one could get there in type to do anything but inbound the ball after a made layup.
By halftime the Tigers were down by 4. That lead was extended out to 13 by the 16 minute mark of the second half. That was when Earnest Ross decided that he didn’t want this to be his final game as a Tiger. He scored 10 of 16 points during the final 16 minutes of the game.
Much as Ross helped for Mizzou to win the game, this was really the Jabari Brown show from the tip off going 9-16 from the floor and 11-15 from the free throw line. He looked like a man possesed to win this game even if he had to play 1 vs. 5.
This is the type of game that they will need play to continue on in the NIT. Mizzou shot 58% which is going to be tough for teams other teams to match.