Missouri wins 54-53 by a miracle in the last second free throw

The Missouri Tigers greeted Bradley Braves on a visit in their last game before heading home for the holidays. Missouri got the victory in tonight’s game, but Bradley took them to the last seconds, literally.

From the beginning, the scoring fights seemed to be the theme in the first half. The Tigers started with a slow start, missing the first four triples and eight shots on the field. Visitor Bradley Braves made it clear that it was not a team to be overlooked, despite the fact that Missouri ranked in the top 15. The arms proved their tenacity in defense, which proved to be a challenge for Missouri in time. Although there was a suffocating defense of Bradley in the first half, neither side looked great on offense. Both teams managed to put only two points on the board, heading for the first TV timeout.

The tone of this game was set from the top, this being a physical, defensive, resentful match. Bradley severely collapsed the tables in the first 20 minutes and managed to catch 13 offensive rebounds in the first half, but Brașii were an 8-36 trembling from the field. Bradley’s Elijah Childs had eight rebounds and three blocks for Bravi.

There was probably something in the air tonight, as the cold shots also affected the Tigers, as both teams started 0-5 from beyond the arc. Xavier Pinson eventually pulled out a three for the Tigers, and they extended their lead to 12-5 in the first half. Bradley shot a disastrous score of 0-12 out of three in the first half, and the Tigers were not much better, drawing 2-12. Xavier Pinson had both for Missouri.

Both the Tigers and the Braves hurried to bring the team’s mistakes – largely how physically the level of the game was. The Braves brought their 7th team error after a Mark Smith basket and a basket, and Missouri managed to keep their short lead until the end of the half. The Tigers had a surplus of opportunities to extend their lead to the charity, under the basket and beyond the bow, but failed to do so due to poor shooting. In the half, the Tigers clung to a 21-19 advantage.

The second half turned out to be a nail bite.

To start the game, Bradley continued 6-0 and resumed the lead. But Missouri would not back down, as the Tigers and Braves exchanged blows early. Pinson climbed to Missouri with a successful trip to the line, followed by another three-pointer to give Missouri the lead again.

Bradley finally hit beyond the arc, while Jayson Kent caught fire, and Bradley had a small lead heading for the second TV timeout of the half. In addition, Dru Smith took his fourth personal foul with more than ten minutes left for the match, so Drew Buggs was asked to play a serious amount of minutes tonight.

Jeremiah Tilmon had a quiet first half, but helped keep the Tigers in conversation, scoring his first goal in the middle of the second. His presence seems to have come to life, and the brave defenders endeavored to correct him. Tilmon said that during the break, coach Martin stated that he was losing weight. “I felt like I was coming back and the coach made it clear to me that I wasn’t playing as hard as I could,” Tilmon said. However, Bradley remained the aggressor and clung to a point with only nine minutes.

As time went on, the Braves took the lead and threatened to run away with the game. Elijah Childs completed a great three-point play to keep the Braves ahead with five minutes left. Missouri desperately needed to go on an offensive run, but Bradley kept them under control.

With less than five minutes left, Cuonzo Martin pulled off a 50-42 timeout to establish his boys. After that break, Mitchell Smith dropped a jump shot, Dru Smith fired a defensive defense to give the ball back to Missouri, and Tilmon shot two free throws, reducing Bradley’s lead to just four.

Moments later, Mark Smith made a line trip with the Tigers down 53-49, with 53.1 seconds left in the game. After two marks on the line, the Tigers were followed only by a bucket. Defensively, Missouri stood tall and recorded a huge stop. Now, with the ball and the chance to tie or take the lead, the Tigers settled on a Mark Smith three, but missed the front iron. Bradley came with the recovery and was immediately sent to the line. All the Braves had to do was make both free throws, and the game was most likely over. To make things interesting, Bradley missed the first of one and one, and Dr. Smith secured the recovery and found a way out. The Tigers quickly advanced the field with only ten seconds left, continuing with two points. With literally one second on the clock, Xavier Pinson found Jeremiah Tilmon under the rim, where he finished a layup to tie the game and was fouled. The Tigers were going to the free throw line, with the chance to take the lead for a second. Tilmon drained her calmly, and Missouri somehow won by one. The last full second of the game lasted almost five minutes until the end, but Bradley came to have .7 seconds to pick up a shot. It wasn’t meant to be. Against all odds, Missouri won this game 54-53 in seconds.

After this, you could see that the players of Jeremiah Tilmon were more interested in killing time than scoring more goals. “I was just telling myself to calm down,” Tilmon said. He explained that the only word that came to mind was, routine.

After the win, head coach Cuonzo Martin said: “I am grateful to get the victory. I thought they had a great game plan. “The coach said that he thought his boys were satisfied with the shots in the first half, but he gave a lot of merit to Bradley’s defense. The Braves kept the Tigers just 25.4 percent off the field, the lowest in Missouri all season.

Martin said that in the discussion, just before the last play, the message had to end strongly. “You don’t get these games back,” Martin explained. “We can’t have one foot on the door for the holidays, we have to finish our mission.” Missouri eventually did the job, though it wasn’t the most beautiful of victories.

The Tigers Open Conference plays against the Tennessee Volunteers next Wednesday.