After a relatively strong start to the season at the free-throw line, Missouri went into the charity-stripe doldrums for eight games.
The Tigers collectively checked below 68 percent at the free-throw line in six of eight games, beginning with a 4-of-10 performance against Kansas State and continuing through a combined 15 of 32 effort in losses against North Carolina State and Illinois.
Things have turned around during the last three games.
Missouri shot better than 80 percent on free throws against Arkansas-Pine Bluff and Savannah State, an upward trend that continued against Georgia.
The Tigers went 18 of 23 at the line — 78.3 percent — in a 77-59 loss Wednesday against Georgia, which was 8 of 10 on free throws, at Stegeman Coliseum.
Freshman Kevin Puryear led the way, going 9 of 10 at the line.
Missouri’s three best free-throw shooting performances of the season have come in the last three games — an encouraging, if small, sign the team’s doing some little things right.
“We just have to keep doing more little things, because the little things really make a difference in the game,” Puryear said. “One hedge or one closeout, that makes a huge difference. One rebound, that makes a huge difference in the game. We just have to focus in on those things.”
BY THE NUMBERS
Consecutive road losses by Missouri, dating back to a 75-71 win Jan. 28, 2014, at Arkansas.
Number of points Missouri has trailed against all seven high-major opponents at some point in the game this season.
Consecutive losses away from Mizzou Arena for Missouri against NCAA Division I teams.