Missouri has now lost two conference games by a combined four points.
The Tigers fell 65-63 to Arkansas on Saturday, and this was the final play: Jordan Geist brought the ball upcourt and dribbled past a screen from Jordan Barnett, who fell to the ground during the frenzied play. Maybe the ball was supposed to go to Barnett, but instead Geist took a contested corner three that rimmed out, and Mizzou fell to 12-5 overall and 2-2 in the Southeastern Conference.
This would have been the Tigers’ most impressive win of the season. Missouri had been down as many as 18 points in the first half, suffered from being on the wrong end of a 27-5 run and struggled to do anything for the first 15 minutes it faced Arkansas’ full-court press.
Yet somehow the Tigers had seized back the momentum. MU coach Cuonzo Martin’s excitement, anxiety, frustration and whatever else you want to attach to this game boiled over with fewer than 9 minutes remaining. That’s when Geist stole the ball at halfcourt and laid it in to pull the Tigers within two.
Martin lunged down and punched the air. Then he looked up, screamed and stomped his feet.
His team was in the midst of a 17-2 run that ended with a Kassius Robertson jumper that gave Missouri a 59-53 lead with just more than 6 minutes remaining.