Missouri freshman guard Tramaine Isabell returned Wednesday from a five-game suspension.
Isabell scored 13 points, including three three-pointers, with three rebounds, two assists, a steal and three turnovers in 26 minutes in an 84-69 loss to No. 18 Arkansas.
He hadn’t played since Jan. 29 against Kentucky due to a poor attitude and his behavior toward Tigers coaches and teammates, coach Kim Anderson said in announcing the suspension.
“He and I have had numerous discussions about opportunities to play at the University of Missouri,” Anderson said. “I’m hopeful that, as he comes back and kind of gets more comfortable, he’ll continue to produce like he did tonight. I think he’s a talented basketball player. It was good to have him back and I thought he played pretty well for not having played in 2 1/2, three weeks.”
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Isabell and the rest of Missouri’s freshmen combined for 48 of the team’s 69 points.
“I thought our young guys, once they settled down, they played without fear for the most part, and that’s an encouraging sign,” Anderson said.
Guard Montaque Gill-Caesar and forward Jakeenan Gant each scored 11 points, while forward D’Angelo Allen added nine points and guard Namon Wright scored four points.
“I think he (Isabell) brought a ball-handling presence that we really needed since Wes is out,” Gill-Caesar said. “Especially with their pressure, we really needed that. Wes is one of our main, if not the main ball-handler besides Keith (Shamburger), so I think Tramaine really brought that for us. He brought a three-point threat.”
Rosburg returns to starting lineup
Junior Ryan Rosburg returned to the starting lineup for the first time since Dec. 20 against Illinois.
Rosburg, who scored a season-high 12 points on six-of-seven shooting Saturday against Mississippi State, wasn’t able to match his impact from the last game.
He finished with four points, a rebound and a turnover along with four personal fouls in 18 minutes against Arkansas.
Key play: Missouri freshman D’Angelo Allen had second thoughts about a three-point try and instead tried a dump pass to junior Ryan Rosburg. Trouble was, Rosburg had already turned to crash the glass, so the pass went off the back of his head for a turnover.
Key stat: Missouri committed 14 first-half turnovers, including nine during a 7:01 scoreless stretch.
Key play: Arkansas only led by eight at halftime but opened the second half with a back-breaking 13-3 run.
Key stat: After falling behind 50-32, Missouri made eight of its next nine shots, but Arkansas also scored on six of nine possessions (with no turnovers) as the lead was only whittled to 12 points.