Missouri basketball picked up a road victory over a tough Temple team just five days after losing one of its worst home games.
It didn’t take long for Missouri basketball to get over its shocking loss to Charleston Southern.
The Tigers defeated a one-loss Temple team 64-54 to snap a three-game losing streak and get back on track. The win was in Philadelphia, away from the site of their embarrassing home loss that didn’t seem to faze them as they took on a better Owls squad.
Temple, whose only loss came to No. 3 Maryland by seven points, led by six points midway through the second half before Mizzou took the game over. The Tigers forced 19 turnovers, and got a huge game from reserve guard Javon Pickett.
It was the first big game for Pickett this year. Pickett, who started all but one game for the Tigers in 2018-19, has been on the bench this season. But he scored 16 points on 5 of 10 shooting Saturday night.
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The Tigers, who are now 5-4, also got solid games from their best three players in Dru Smith, Mark Smith and Jeremiah Tilmon. But the game was won by their defense.
Mizzou’s defense has mostly been good this season, but coach Cuonzo Martin knows it can be better, especially after the past two weeks in which the Tigers went 0-3. Saturday was a big step forward, as they continued to hurt the Owls’ offense and take advantage on the other end. Missouri was 8-for-29 from the 3-point line, not great, but Temple was just 2 of 21.
The past three games, Mizzou was hurt by a rough start. Mizzou has only scored three points at most to begin the game while the Tigers watched their opponents get into double figures.
Once Mizzou got back into the game, it wasn’t good enough to take the lead and the Tigers ran out of gas in each of those losses. That was not the case against Temple.
Though Missouri could only score one basket in the first five minutes, the Tigers kept the Owls close to them and they didn’t fall behind. So late in the game, it was the Tigers who had the energy and carried the momentum to a win, going on a 15-2 run over the final six-and-a-half minutes.
Mizzou gets a week off but returns home next Sunday to play Southern Illinois in a 3 p.m. tip.