Despite a late surge by Missouri, the Temple Owls defeated the Tigers by a score of 79-77 on Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena. After trailing by more than 10 points for portions of the second half, Mizzou stormed back late in the ballgame, making the game a one-possession affair in the final minutes.
Senior leaders Kevin Puryear and Jordan Geist facilitated Mizzou’s offense late in the game to pull Mizzou within striking distance. Geist sank a pair of triples with less than two minutes remaining to cut the Temple advantage to two but conversions at the charity stripe by the Owls propelled them to the road victory.
Mizzou sophomore guard Mark Smith paced the Tigers in scoring, matching a season-high with 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and a 3-of-5 clip from behind the arc.
Smith was one of four Tigers who reached double figures as Puryear (16 points), Jeremiah Tilmon (14 points) and Geist (11 points) led a Mizzou offensive attack that posted a 52 percent conversion rate from the field and an 11-for-19 mark from distance.
After entering the halftime break trailing by 10, Mizzou continued to battle to stay in the ballgame. After Temple continued to build its lead, Mizzou battled back with less than five minutes to play. Geist drilled a three to pull the Tigers within eight before Puryear sank a pair of free throws to make the score 71-65.
Mizzou then dug in on the defensive end, forcing a much-needed turnover on the ensuing possession. With just under three minutes remaining and the Tigers still trailing by six, Tilmon battled inside for multiple put-back attempts before converting to pull the Tigers within four.
A possession later, with 2:24 remaining, Tilmon rocked the rim with a one-handed slam after a nifty feed from Geist to ignite Mizzou Arena and cut the Temple lead to 71-69.
However, Temple was able to respond with a three and later converted on free throws down the stretch to hold off the Tigers. Temple senior guard Shizz Alston Jr. sank three of four attempts from the line in the game’s final minute.
Geist would hit again from three, and Mark Smith would put home a layup with .1 remaining on the game clock, but the comeback fell just short, as Temple grabbed the 79-77 victory.
- Mark Smith matched his season-high, dropping a game-high 19 points on 70 percent shooting. He was also 3-of-5 from beyond the arc.
- Tilmon tallied his first double-double of the season against Temple, pouring in 14 points while snaring 10 boards.
- Redshirt sophomore forward Mitchell Smith drilled his first career 3-pointer early in the first half against the Owls. He also tied his season high in points, chipping in six.
- Geist reached double-figures for the third straight game, following up his back-to-back 20+ point performances with 11 points against Temple.