• Key play: With 1 minute remaining, Jabari Brown weaved through three North Carolina State defenders and gathered in an offensive rebound. His uncontested putback pulled Missouri within 32-30 at halftime.
• Key stat: Missouri stayed close despite seven turnovers thanks to a 10-for-11 performance at the free-throw line. During a 7-minute, 28-second field-goal drought, the Tigers scored nine straight points from the line.
• Key play: Missouris lead was tenuous at 63-62 when freshman guard Anthony Barber headed to the free-throw line for a one-and-one with 26 seconds left and promptly clanged the freebie. It capped a rough shooting night for Barber, who went two of 11 from the field and missed all three free throws.
• Key stat: Missouri outscored North Carolina State 19-8 at the free-throw line. The Tigers also committed only three second-half turnovers.
Haith wins homecoming
Saturdays game was a homecoming of sorts for Missouri coach Frank Haith, who grew up in nearby Burlington, N.C.
North Carolina is home for me, Haith said. I grew up pulling for all the teams in the triangle, including N.C. State (along with North Carolina and Duke). I have a lot of family here and it is great to come home.
Haith played his college basketball at Elon University, which is roughly 60 miles from Raleigh. Thats also where he got his start in coaching before moving on to Wake Forest and North Carolina-Wilmington among other stops.
| Tod Palmer, email@example.com