Wes Clark questions a foul call during the first half of Missouri’s matchup against UMKC on Friday, Sept. 14, 2014. Clark committed three of Missouri’s 25 fouls in the game.
By Tim Leible, KBIA Sports
Kim Anderson’s career as head coach of the Missouri men’s basketball team will start with a 0-1 record as the Tigers fell to the University of Missouri – Kansas City 69-61. The Tigers struggled to find any rhythm offensively Friday night in what Anderson referred to as “an ugly game.”
UMKC set the pace for the game in the first half with a barrage of shots, particularly from behind the 3-point line.
Missouri struggled to defend as UMKC repeatedly drove with the basketball, only to kick the ball out to a teammate for an open shot. UMKC shot 55.6% from behind the arc in the first half, getting out to a 33-24 lead at the break.
Missouri struggled to get going offensively as they shot only 33.3% from the field, while going 2-10 from the three-point line. Missouri did make some strides late in the half, but still had a lot of work to do.
While Missouri did more scoring in the second half, their offense was based more of quantity of shots than quality. Montaque Gill-Caesar, who led the Tigers with 21 points, shot 15 times in the second half, 23 times overall. He managed to make seven of those second half shots, but only shot 39% for the game. Missouri outscored UMKC 37-36 in the second half, but couldn’t consistently put the ball in the hoop en route to the loss.
Missouri’s biggest offensive struggle came in the post. The primary big men for the Tigers scored a total of nine points. Johnathan Williams III led the way with six points before fouling out, while Ryan Rosburg and Keanu Post combined for three points.
Missouri big men also struggled on the boards, as the three combined for 15 rebounds. The Tigers were outrebounded 42-38.
The Tigers also had foul trouble for most of the game. While Williams III was the only player to foul out for Missouri, three more players were on the brink of fouling out with four fouls apiece.
The Tigers committed 25 fouls in the game, while being fouled 18. When it came to free throws, UMKC had the upper hand by a considerable margin. UMKC made 23 of 29 free throw attempts, while Missouri made eight of 16. Martez Harrison of UMKC nearly doubled Missouri’s production at the line himself, making 15 of his 16 attempts. He would lead all scorers with 26 points.
Other than Gill-Caesar, one of the few bright spots for the Tigers was Wes Clark. While he struggled shooting, he had solid all around numbers. He made only four of his 14 shot attempts, including only one of his six attempted three-pointers. Clark also added five assists and six steals to his 13 points.
Anderson will not have much time to get turn his team around, however, as the Tigers will face off against Valparaiso on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 5 PM at Mizzou Arena.