University of Missouri

Mizzou beaten by Vanderbilt 76-53, sets consecutive loss record

Missouri head coach Kim Anderson directs his players in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Vanderbilt Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn.
Missouri head coach Kim Anderson directs his players in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Vanderbilt Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. AP

The 2014-15 Missouri basketball team stands alone, but that’s not a good thing.

After falling 76-53 Saturday against Vanderbilt at Memorial Gymnasium, the Tigers have now lost 13 consecutive games, the longest losing streak in 109 seasons of Missouri basketball.

Coach Kim Anderson, who was hired last April after Frank Haith abruptly bolted for Tulsa, addressed the historic aspect of the Tigers’ loss.

“Well, it’s no fun,” he said. “I know what your job is, and your job is to say ‘Missouri’s lost 13 games in a row.’ I respect that, but I still try to come out every day and build with these younger guys.”

After an overtime win against LSU to open SEC play, Missouri, 7-20 overall and 1-13 in the conference, has mostly built a mountain of losses.

It’s a taken a toll in terms of frustration, but it hasn’t dimmed Anderson’s enthusiasm.

“Nobody’s more disappointed than me; I’ve said that,” Anderson said. “But nobody’s more excited than me to go to practice and try to work with these guys. It’s hard. It’s hard when you lose 13 in a row.”

That was reflected early against the Commodores.

The game went south for Missouri in a hurry, prompting Anderson to call a timeout less than 2 1/2 minutes into play after Vanderbilt jumped in front 7-0.

“I thought they played extremely hard,” Anderson said. “I did not think we, as a group, played extremely hard. Some guys did; some guys didn’t.”

The Tigers, who matched the 1965-66 and 1966-67 teams with a 12- game skid Wednesday at Arkansas, never drew closer than five points the rest of the game.

“I’m not questioning everybody,” Anderson said. “I don’t think it was like, ‘Hey, I’m not going to play hard.’ But the combination of the way they started off and the way we started off, I just didn’t think we had five guys on the floor that were as focused as they needed to be. I’m not saying my guys quit or anything like that, but, to play in this league, every night you’ve got to come ready to play and it doesn’t matter who you’re playing.”

The Tigers’ loss against the Commodores had an eerily similar feel to a midweek loss to the Razorbacks.

Missouri, which also lost 20 games for the first time since 1966-67, trailed by the exact same halftime margin, 37-29, and again struggled in the opening minutes of the second half.

Vanderbilt, 15-12 and 5-9, pushed its lead to 15 during the opening 5 minutes after halftime and never led by fewer than 13 points the rest of the way.

“When you get down that much, it is hard to come back, especially in this league,” said senior Keith Shamburger, who scored nine points with a game-high eight assists and four rebounds. “We’ve just got to start off better and play harder, way harder.”

The Commodores’ lead reached 20 with 10:02 remaining on a three-pointer by freshman Wade Baldwin IV and grew as large as 26 points when sophomore Damian Jones rebounded his own missed free throw for an uncontested layup with 5:25 left.

Jones, who scored 14 of his game-high 16 points in the second half and also had seven rebounds and a season-high six blocks, punctuated the win with a soaring two-handed jam of an inbounds lob from junior Carter Josephs with 4:21 remaining.

Missouri doubled him in the first half, but Vanderbilt exploited that with crisp ball rotation that led to a season-high 10 made three-pointers.

“I just liked how we were methodical and pretty workmanlike in what we tried to do,” Commodores coach Kevin Stallings said.

Five Vanderbilt players finished in double figures with Baldwin scoring 13 points, while sophomore Luke Kornet and freshmen Riley LaChance and Matthew Fisher-Davis each added 11 points.

Senior James Siakam grabbed a game-best 13 rebounds, including eight in the second half when the Commodores dominated the boards 27-9. LaChance added nine rebounds, all on defense, with a team-high five assists.

Missouri’s only player in double figures was freshman Montaque Gill-Caesar, who finished with 11, thanks to a fast-break layup in the closing seconds.

The 2014-15 Missouri basketball team stands alone, but that’s not a good thing.

After falling 76-53 Saturday against Vanderbilt at Memorial Gymnasium, the Tigers have now lost 13 consecutive games, the longest in 109 seasons of MU basketball.

Missouri, 7-20 and 1-13 in the SEC, tied the old record — 12 in row during the 1965-66 season and again in 1966-67 — with a loss Wednesday at Arkansas.

The Tigers’ loss against the Commodores had an eerily similar feel.

Missouri, which also lost 20 games for the first time since 1966-67, trailed by the exact same halftime margin, 37-29, and again struggled in the opening minutes of the second half.

Vanderbilt, 15-12 and 5-9 in conference, pushed its lead to 15 during the opening five minutes after halftime and never led by fewer than 13 points the rest of the way.

The Commodores’ lead reached 20 with 10:02 remaining on a three-pointer by freshman Wade Baldwin IV and grew as large as 26 points when sophomore Damian Jones rebounded his own missed free throw for an uncontested layup with 5:25 left.

Jones, who scored 14 of his game-high 16 points in the second half, punctuated the win with a soaring two-handed jam of an inbounds lob from junior Carter Josephs with 4:21 remaining.

Missouri coach Kim Anderson needed a timeout less than 2 1/2 minutes into play, a harbinger of things to come.

The Tigers spotted the Commodores a 7-0 lead before Anderson’s timeout at the 17:35 mark and never drew closer than five points the remainder of the game.

Freshman Matthew Fisher-Davis powered the Commodores early with a pair of three-pointers.

He finished with 11 points, all in the first half, and was among five Vanderbilt players to reach double figures.

Baldwin added 13 points, while freshman Riley LaChance and sophomore Luke Kornet each added 11 points.

Missouri’s only player in double figures was freshman Montaque Gill-Caesar, who finished with 11 after a fastbreak dunk in the closing seconds. He snapped a streak of 18 consecutive missed three-pointers late in the first half.

To reach Tod Palmer, call 816-234-4389 or send email to tpalmer@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at @todpalmer.

The box score can be found here.

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