Hoosiers Fall to No. 4 Missouri in Closing Minutes
December 6, 2003BOX SCORE
Mike Davis Quotes
Bloomington, Ind.--From the moment of tip-off until the closing minutes of Saturday night's contest at Assembly Hall, it appeared as though the Indiana Hoosiers would capture a victory over the fourth-ranked Missouri Tigers. Maintaining the lead for the majority of the contest, everything pointed to the Hoosiers earning the upset. However, Missouri stepped it up in the final minutes, and the Hoosiers could not hang on as they fell to the Tigers, 63-58. Indiana drops to 2-3 on the season and Missouri improves to 3-0.
Indiana rattled the Tigers in the first four minutes of play and led 15-8 at the first media timeout. With back-to-back three-pointers from Bracey Wright and Donald Perry, the momentum continued for the Hoosiers and they went on a 13-2 run the down the stretch. They continued to apply pressure to Missouri's big-man Arthur Johnson underneath and were able to get several defensive stops in the run. Heading into the locker room, the Cream and Crimson enjoyed a comfortable 39-24 advantage.
Things heated up in the second stanza, as the Tigers began to cut the lead in the closing minutes of the game. With 2:01 showing on the clock, Travon Bryant sank a critical three-point basket to lessen Indiana's lead to one, 58-57. Things took an even bigger turn when Linas Kleiza came through in the clutch. He connected on a three-point play to give Missouri its first lead of the night since the 2-0 advantage they reached during the very first play of the game. The Hoosiers tried to take advantage of Johnson fouling out at the 3:07 mark, but a few turnovers on the Hoosiers end forced the ball to go in favor of the Tigers. A quick turn-around jumper in the paint by Jimmy McKinney with under 30 seconds to go would seal the Missouri win. As the clock ticked down, the Hoosiers scrambled to gain control of the ball, and get some easy baskets, but could come up with no answers.
"We played a great basketball team today," said head coach Mike Davis. "The key for us is to just get better as a basketball team. If we could go back and replay the last four minutes of the game, you would see a lot of our players settling for outside shots. Missouri did a great job of making plays down the stretch. We just need to continue to improve as a team. It's going to take some time and we have a tough schedule ahead, but I am sure we will get better."
Perry was the high-scorer for the Hoosiers, finishing with a career-high 13 points on the night. Wright chipped in with 12 points, while Moye and Marshall Strickland also reached double-digits with 10 apiece.
"I think we shot a really good percentage, and we held Missouri to 34-percent shooting," said sophomore guard Bracey Wright." We came out and were really intense. It was a statement game for us, and I think we still made a statement today, but we let the win slip away."
Missouri was paced by Bryant, who finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds. Johnson also helped the cause with 15 points, nine rebounds.
Indiana's schedule gets no easier as they travel to South Bend, Ind. to take on No. 20 Notre Dame on Wednesday, Dec. 10. Tip-off is set for 9:00 p.m. and the game will be televised nationally by ESPN.
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