Sacramento, CA — Princeton did what no other mid-major team had done for Missouri all season. it slowed them both down kobe brown And d’moi hodge, the team’s leading scorer, scored a combined 14 points on 6-of-19 shooting. It took care of the ball, only turning it over nine times against a Mizzou team that averaged 16.9 turnovers forced per game.
It defeated the No. 7 seed Tigers. MU went 12–0 in Saturday games against teams from outside the SEC this year. They went out of game 12–1, falling 78–63 to the No. 15 seed Ivy League Tigers inside the Golden 1 Center.
“I credit (Princeton head coach) mitch henderson and his group. He did an outstanding job not only in our game, but in the last game as well,” the Missouri head coach dennis gates Said. “But he made some shots. He did some great things. But I love our group. We are not judged by one game. I will continue to say that strongly. But we must give credit to our opponents for their great play.” should give.
Princeton (23-8, 10-4 Ivy League) did mostly what it wanted on offense to start the game. Missouri was too spread out on many of its close shots, either leaping into the air to counter a 3-pointer or getting out of control, giving Princeton a pump-and-go drive to reach the rim. Permission granted to use. senior guard ryan langborg scored 11 of the team’s first 13 points, sank three tres and gave the Ivy League Tigers a six-point lead. Mizzou never recovered.
MU also struggled offensively. senior forward Noah Carter The team had some success early on, hitting a triple and two shots inside the arc for the first seven points of the game. But no one else could find the rhythm.
Anytime Princeton’s forwards crashed the paint, Brown got the ball in the post. The senior forward has seen double teams on the block throughout the season – it was nothing he hadn’t experienced before. But unlike those many times, he couldn’t find his way through it.
“He had his hands high, so I couldn’t see beyond the post,” Brown said. “A lot of times, teams double down but have their hands down, so it’s easier to facilitate with pumps. But they did a good job taking away sight.
The team got some traction late in the first half. Hodge scores on fast break, senior point guard nick honor Knocked down a 3rd and fellow senior point guard from the left corner Sean East II A floater sank at the buzzer to give Mizzou a 7–0 run and cut the deficit to 33–26 at half-time. The team got a stop on their first possession of the second half and fed the ball to Brown for a layup in the post to make it a two-score game again.
But Missouri missed its next five field goal attempts, allowing Princeton to zoom ahead by 12 until the under-16 media timeout. The SEC Tigers cut the lead to single digits twice more in the second half, but the Ivy League Tigers extinguished every spark that MU tried to ignite.
“We held the lead for 30 seconds the whole game,” Gates said. “Every time we got a lead or when they had a lead, we cut it down to six, they came back down and did what a good team does: make a shot or make a play. Making those plays or making the same It was not our day to play those kinds of shots.
Carter finished with 14 points on the night, trailing only the senior guard deandre gholston Among Mizzou players, who posted 19. It was a disappointing end for a team that had ended a 13-year drought in the NCAA tournament and won 25 games all season. But Gates doesn’t want to forget what his team accomplished. They will always be the Tigers squad that made Missouri basketball relevant again – a team filled with mid-major and junior college transfers that was picked to finish No. 11 in the SEC preseason poll and achieved every stage of the year. .
“When it comes to reflection, I’ve always appreciated the conversations and the friends I’ve had since the beginning of the journey,” Gates said. “They’ve done a tremendous job. They’ve done everything I’ve asked them to do. They’ve done even more, haven’t they? We’ll look back 20 years from now at what they’ve been able to do together , 10 years from now we’ll look back, five years from now we’ll look back and see how important what he did was.”
end of the road for four seniors
Saturday marked the final college basketball game for Hodge, Gholston and senior guards Trey Gomillion And Ben Sternberg,
All four players got to know Gates while playing in the Horizon League. When Gates was hired at Mizzou, he relied on him for his final year of eligibility.
Each player played a key role for the Tigers this season: Hodge broke the program’s single-season record with 91 steals and was the team’s second-leading scorer, averaging 14.7 points per game. Gholston was the Tigers’ third leading scorer, averaging 10.9 points, and made several clutch buckets, including two buzzer-beating game-winners. Gomilian and Sternberg were both team captains, which helped Gates establish his vision for the team’s culture. Gomilian essentially served as an assistant coach while battling injury in the second half of the year. Sternberg became a fan favorite among the team’s walk-ons by hitting a halfcourt shot in his first game in a Missouri uniform.
All four players believe Gates can lead the program to new heights. They are happy that they were able to be part of the first team that could help them do just that. He hopes he will be remembered for this.
Sternberg said, “I just want to be remembered as a group of guys who loved each other on and off the court.” “We were together every day in the gym, in the crib, obviously. Not only that, but we want to be known as steps for coach (Gates). Coach, obviously this is his first year. We want That they build the culture here.Now the coming teams will follow us.
Hodge said, “I’ll stick to what Ben said: building culture.” “It wasn’t a difficult decision for me to go to Mizzou, especially playing for coach (Gates) at Cleveland State. It was really cool to build a foundation of what we know he could be and what his goals are. Mizzou fans are supporting us and believing in us to be here and what we do means so much to the Columbia community. I thank them for embracing me and my team. I applaud Mizzou for this.
Gomilian said, “Same thing: laying the foundation, building that culture in Colombia, getting those fans back involved.” “But doing the things we did, we shouldn’t have been here at all. All we had to do was make the SEC semifinals. I mean, at the end of the day, we lost today, but we have something to be proud of.” there is too much.”
Diarra ends the year on a good note
Missouri was tearing itself apart inside in the first half of their game against Princeton. The Ivy League Tigers were able to get past Mizzou’s front line of defense, drawing a weak side help defender and finding an open man sliding toward the rim to score points. Gates moved to junior forward mohammad diara to replace it.
The big man from Montreuil, France had gone six games without recording a block. But on Saturday, he played his role in the paint by converting several shots and rejecting two. This gave the 6-foot-10 forward speed entering the off-season in which Gates would attempt to develop him into a more consistent role.
Brown said, “The one thing I can say about Muhammad is he’s going to play as hard as he can, whether it’s scoring the ball or just playing defense, getting blocks.” “He’s going to be a presence all the time.”
Missouri finished the season at 25–10 overall and 11–7 in conference play. Ready to bring in a junior college prospect ranked in the top three by Gates JUCORRecruiting.comThree newcomers ranked in top 150 rivals.com and two walk-on freshmen. The Tigers have nine players on scholarship and at least one year of eligibility remaining – Gates will wait to see how many leave for professional leagues or enter the transfer portal before making any additions to his 2023 class. We do.
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