The University of Missouri’s Men’s Basketball advanced to the Paradise Jam championship game with a 69-63 victory over Oregon State in Sunday night’s semifinal. Mizzou’s senior leaders Jordan Geist and Kevin Puryear combined for 38 of Mizzou’s 69 points to steer the Tigers to a win.
Mizzou improved to 3-1 on the campaign with its second consecutive victory. Head coach Cuonzo Martin is now 7-1 all-time vs. Oregon State.
Mizzou converted 22-of-28 free throws on Sunday, with Geist making 12-of-15. Geist finished with a game-high 21 points and Puryear added 17 points and seven rebounds. Eight different Tigers found the scoring column as Mizzou used a balanced attack both offensively and defensively to earn the win.
With the score tied at 48-48, Mizzou dug in defensively to seize control. The Tigers held Oregon State scoreless for nearly 5:30 of game clock, which keyed an 11-0 run.
After a Puryear triple and a jumper from freshman Xavier Pinson, Mizzou built a 59-48 advantage. During that stretch, Mizzou went 6-for-6 at the charity stripe. Oregon State cut the deficit to a little as six but the Mizzou run proved to be too much down the stretch.
- Geist led the Tigers with 21 points on 4-of-10 shooting from the field and an impressive 12-of-15 clip at the charity stripe. Geist’s 12 free throws were a career-high.
- Geist is the first Mizzou player to make 10 or more free throws since Puryear converted 10 against Auburn on March 4, 2018.
- Geist has now scored in double figures 20 times in his career and has posted 20 or more points in two ballgames. His 21 points in the win were a personal season-high and the most points by a Mizzou player in a contest this season.
- Puryear also made his presence felt on offense, pouring in a season-high 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field.
- Puryear’s 17 points gave him three straight games scoring in double figures. The senior last did so to begin the 2017 campaign, pouring in 10 or more points in four straight contests.
- Puryear also found his stroke at the line, sinking six free throws on six attempts. Puryear last went 6-for-6 at the line last season in a win over Tennessee.
- Puryear led the Tigers with eight rebounds, giving him five or more rebounds in 61 games during his career.