Missouri coach Kim Anderson likely doesn’t have fond memories of an eight-game losing when he was a freshman on the Tigers basketball team.
Unfortunately for Anderson, his Tigers matched that mark for futility Wednesday when Alabama beat Missouri 62-49 in Coleman Coliseum.
Wednesday’s loss was the Tigers’ eighth straight, the longest skid since the 1973-74 season when Anderson joined Mizzou after a standout career at Smith-Cotton High School in Sedalia.
Now 1-8 in Southeastern Conference play (0-4 in league road games) and 7-15 overall, this was the Tigers’ third-lowest point total of the season. But Anderson blamed this loss not on bad shot selection, but bad shooting.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well, and I thought we missed some good shots,” he said. “That’s something that’s bugged us, especially lately, especially depending too much on three-point shots and not getting to the free-throw line.”
From the field, the Tigers shot 32.1 percent on 18-of-56 shooting, and from behind the arc, they were four of 23. They only had 13 free-throw attempts and made only nine.
“We got to get to the foul line, and I’m not criticizing the referees,” Anderson said. “We just don’t attack enough, and when we do attack, it’s not strong enough to make a play.”
It wasn’t one big moment that could have changed the game in the second half, though, but rather a series of plays where the poor shooting plagued the Tigers.
“I think we had a chance to knock down a three, and I don’t remember exactly what the score was, and then we missed a layup, missed a wide open layup, and I think the score was seven, eight, 10, somewhere in there,” Anderson said. “We just never could get it.”
The statistics sheet showed Anderson one or two positives — like 22 points in the paint — but not enough positives to add up to a win.
“I’m always looking for positives, and I think there were some,” he said. “We just need a bunch of them. We’re getting like one or two positives and we need like 10 positives.”
Most of the post points came from Keanau Post, who was Missouri’s leading scorer (11 points). Johnathan Williams III added seven points. The two also combined for 10 rebounds.
Alabama was led by senior Levi Randolph, who had 20 points, and Retin Obasahan added 12 points and eight rebounds.
Both teams were coming off big conference losses, but the Crimson Tide is tough to beat at home with a 12-2 record in Coleman and a 14-8 record overall.
Down by two points at the half, Missouri came out of halftime strong, with a three-pointer from Namon Wright that gave the Tigers a 27-26 lead, their first lead since the 13:08 mark of the first half, but it was short-lived.
After the score was tied at 28, Alabama went on a 6-0 run within a minute and a half and didn’t relinquish the lead again.
“The first half, I thought we got a little bit of momentum towards the end, but in the second half, once we got down around the 12-, 11-, 10(-minute) mark, I felt like we never got any momentum,” Anderson said. “We just kind of hung around.”
Next up, Missouri returns home to host Texas A&M on Saturday at 5 p.m.
“We’re needing some confidence, and the only way to get some confidence is to win a game, so hopefully we can home Saturday and win a game,” Anderson said.