Xavier Pinson dunk was one to remember for the Tigers

Xavier Pinson had one of the best dunks at Mizzou Arena, and it was highlighted on SportsCenter’s Top 10.

Xavier Pinson can fly. He’s had several dunks in his short two years with the Tigers — against Xavier, at Mizzou Madness when he won the dunk contest, and now, against Florida.

Pinson scored eight points in 11 minutes in Saturday’s win, but one of his plays was the biggest of the game.

The guard took control of the basketball that bounced around a couple times, and coasted down court for an open lane. Pinson didn’t hesitate, and he threw down the dunk over Florida guard Omar Payne to put the Tigers on top 13-5 early in the first half.

That slam dunk set the tone for an offensive explosion, and one that helped spark a 51-point first half en route to a 91-point total in their 91-75 win over the Gators.

The dunk was No. 10 on Sunday morning’s edition of SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays.

His slam dunk can be a big a key in moving forward for Mizzou basketball. Before Tuesday’s game, the Tigers announced Mario McKinney Jr. was suspended indefinitely. McKinney was getting a little more playing time recently, but now that leaves the Tigers with one less reserve guard.

It will be important for Pinson to provide sparks off the bench the rest of the season. After the game, Pinson told a group of reporters he was tested this week by coach Cuonzo Martin, who told the guard what he needed to do to be a better player. Pinson admitted he felt embarrassed. That fueled him to play hard against Florida, he said.

Much of the Tigers followed suit.

They had several highlights in Saturday’s win. Mark Smith also had a dunk in the first half, and he and Mitchell Smith each swished 3-pointers to open up the halves against the Gators.

It was an incredible all-around effort, especially on offense, where Mizzou has struggled this season. It was nice to see them break out of that funk. And good for Pinson, too.

Hopefully they carry that momentum with them on the road this week, where Missouri gets Mississippi State and Alabama.

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