Missouri could not have scripted a more opportunistic final sequence Tuesday night at the Sprint Center.
But instead of tying the game and forcing a second overtime, freshman D’Angelo Allen missed an open layup and the Tigers fell to Oklahoma State 74-72.
“The play worked perfectly,” Missouri coach Kim Anderson said.
Until the finish.
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Three seconds remained when Johnathan Williams III went to the line with Mizzou trailing by three. He made the first, purposely missed the second and the ball squirted along the baseline.
But Keith Shamburger was there to collect it. He drove under the basket, fed Allen who strong-armed the shot as the buzzer sounded.
For the second time in two games, the Tigers lost a heartbreaker. Ten days ago, it was to Illinois on a buzzer beater in St. Louis.
This one, across the state, might have hurt more because of the dramatic finish in regulation.
Missouri freshman Tramaine Isabell buried a three-pointer with less than 1 second remaining to force overtime.
The Cowboys failed to foul then, and they didn’t make the same choice in overtime.
“We fought through some adversity and won a game,” Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said. “It wasn’t pretty, but sometimes that’s just as gratifying for a coach.”
Isabell’s moment presented itself when the Pokes’ Christien Sager, a walk-on guard, had missed one of two free throws with 6.8 seconds remaining.
It appeared the Tigers had blown two chances in regulation.
With 25 seconds remaining and the Tigers trailing 59-56, Mizzou got the matchup it wanted, Montague Gill-Caesar on Mitchell Solomon. Gill-Caesar backed him down, banked in a layup against contact and got a whistle.
But the whistle wasn’t for a foul, but a travel.
Boos from most of the 11,376 filled the arena.
Missouri got a reprieve. After Williams threw in a deep three-pointer to make it 61-59, the Cowboys, after a timeout, blew the inbounds pass. Missouri took over.
But Oklahoma State pressured Missouri’s Wes Clark, throwing the ball in, and the Tigers didn’t have a timeout remaining. Clark threw it away, setting up the final dramatics in regulation.
Overtime went back and forth, and Missouri had the ball trailing 72-71 when Isabell started to make a move to the basket with about 12 seconds remaining. He lost his awareness on a spin move and Oklahoma State’s Phil Forte grabbed the ball from him.
The Tigers didn’t foul right away, and Le’Bryan Nash went to the line with 5.4 seconds remaining and made both.
The game had brought many positive moments for the Tigers, and things were going well for the Tigers late in the first half they scored during a timeout.
A point was added to Mizzou’s total during a media timeout with 1:41 remaining when a shot by Namon Wright some five minutes earlier, originally ruled a two-pointer, was switched to a three-pointer. It helped give Missouri a 31-24 lead at the break.
Missouri played some of its best basketball of the season over the first 25 minutes or so. The first-half run was fueled by defense as the Tigers broke from a 17-17 deadlock with an 11-0 spurt. A Shamburger steal and save while falling into the broadcast table that led to a Jakeenan Gant drive was the big moment.
The lead climbed to 38-26 before Oklahoma State shot its way back.
A pair of three point bombs by Anthony Hickey and other from Forte went unanswered until Williams scored inside to restore a five-point lead.
But the Pokes kept coming. Six straight, capped by Le’Bryan Nash’s two free throws at the 13:04 mark gave Oklahoma State a 41-40 edge.
Gant, making his first start, got the crowd to its feet early.
Camped on the back side of the basket, Gant timed an approach to the basket to perfectly coincide with a miss on a three-pointer from the opposite corner from Shamburger. The ball skipped off the rim and into Gant’s hands.
With his right hand, Gant tomahawk flushed the stickback, the first of many big plays for Missouri all night, until the final second, as Missouri fell to 5-7.
“I don’t want have a program where we get a standing ovation for losing by two points,” Anderson said. “This would have been a great boost.”