Game at a Glance: NC Central
Missouri lost to North Carolina Central 62-54 on Monday night. After each Tiger game, we take a look at the highs and lows. Here's the report from Monday's loss.
TURNING POINT: The first possession. Seriously. Missouri got five offensive rebounds. It took six shots. It held the ball for 55 seconds. It did not score. Things got worse from there. At one point, Missouri had eight offensive rebounds and no second-chance points. The Tigers never led.
IT WAS OVER WHEN: Cullen VanLeer missed his sixth three-pointer of the night with about a minute left. Missouri was down just 56-50 and if that shot goes in, the Tigers have somewhat of a chance. It didn't. The Eagles went to the free throw line and made two to go up eight with 57 seconds left.
CAUSE FOR OPTIMISM: Uhhhh, hang on a second. It can't get much worse? Maybe we'll go with there's no way they can shoot worse. They never have in 12 previous seasons in Mizzou Arena. The previous record for futility was 29% against Kansas. Tonight, Missouri shot 25% against North Carolina. Central.
CAUSE FOR CONCERN: The game. North Carolina Central is a fine team. They're experienced and they're road-tested and all that. But they shouldn't come into Mizzou Arena and win. Not if you have any hopes of significant improvement. There is at least one more sure loss in the non-conference season. And honestly, there really might not be any sure wins.
STOCK UP: Point guard Terrence Phillips scored 17 points on 6-10 shooting, including 5-7 from three-point range. He grabbed four rebounds. Phillips was limited to one assist, but to be fair, it is difficult to get an assist when no one else can make a shot. And no one else could make a shot. Phillips was in foul trouble all game, which was a problem that plagued him last year, but he was the only guy that gave Missouri any chance to win this game.
STOCK DOWN: Everyone else. Outside of Phillips, the Tigers were 11-56 from the floor. The other Tigers were 2-20 from three-point range and 9-for-36 from two. That wouldn't beat some high school teams. And even NC Central coach LeVelle Morton said "Missouri missed a bunch of shots we didn't have anything to do with."
UP NEXT: Missouri faces Western Kentucky on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. The Hilltoppers are 3-3 with losses to Belmont (by 21), Washington (39) and UNLV (10). Western Kentucky plays Eastern Kentucky on Wednesday night before coming to Columbia.