Missouri freshman wing Montaque Gill-Caesar didn’t play in the second half of Saturday’s 72-60 win against Lipscomb and was limited to only 9 minutes before halftime by a sore back.
Tigers coach Kim Anderson said he isn’t sure how serious the injury is, but he said Gill-Caesar, who originally injured his back Dec. 20 against Illinois, endured back spasms during warmups.
“It really stems from the collision in the Illinois game, the flagrant foul when he got hit and went down,” Anderson said. “That’s been kind of sore ever since.”
Gill-Caesar, who had trouble standing and sitting on the bench during timeouts, was zero of two from the field with two rebounds, one assist and three turnovers before exiting Saturday.
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“He tried to go, but he couldn’t do much,” Anderson said.
Gill-Caesar’s absence complicated the backcourt rotation without junior guard Deuce Bello, who was suspended a second straight game for academic issues.
That was a problem against the perimeter-oriented Bison, who often played with four guards.
▪ Key play: Guard Josh Williams lobbed a ball inside for Lipscomb big man Chad Lang, whose layup kicked off a 13-0 run that had the Bison in front 30-19.
▪ Key stat: Missouri went seven of 14 at the free-throw line, including two misses by junior Ryan Rosburg, who is now four of 25 on free throws this season.
▪ Key play: Missouri sophomore guard Wes Clark raced down the floor after his own missed layup for a chase-down block against Lipscomb’s George Brammeier to preserve a one-point lead with 5 minutes remaining.
▪ Key stat: Lipscomb shot 22.2 percent from the field in the second half, making only six of 27 shots overall and three of 15 from three-point range after Missouri started switching ball screens.