Nov. 16, 2006
Senior guard Trey Williams scored another career high in points Thursday night as the Bisons lost their first game of the season to the University of Missouri 89-69.
After opening up the season 2-0, with two come-from-behind victories, Missouri took the lead early in the first half and pressured the Bisons into making mistakes all night long.
"I am in disbelief of what I just saw for the last two hours," Head Coach Scott Sanderson said.
"I am absolutely floored. I am not taking anything away from Missouri whatsoever; they should have beaten us by 35 points. I am absolutely floored at how we played from our main guys, guys that we are counting on to help us win another league championship."
Defensive breakdowns and turnovers plagued the Bisons, while lights out shooting from the Tigers told the story.
"If you don't defend people, if you turn the ball over, and you don't get back in transition defense, you are going to get beat by anybody, not just by Missouri, but by anybody," Sanderson said.
The Bisons opened up a 9-5 lead with 16:26 left in the first half on a Jason Hopkins layup, but that would be the last lead the Bisons had for the rest of the game.
Forcing the Bisons into turnovers with relentless full court pressure, Missouri went on a 17-0 run over the next seven minutes, and jumped out to a 13-point lead with 8:58 to go in the first half. Missouri scored 13 points off 14 first half turnovers from the Bisons.
"We really couldn't simulate (Missouri's) speed and quickness in practice, but a lot of turnovers we had were just unforced," Sanderson said. "Guys falling down, stepping out of bounds, palming the ball, and I am not trying to be negative, but it was like the Bad News Bears."
The Bisons finished the game with 24 turnovers from which Missouri turned those turnovers into 24 points.
"They had 24 points off of 21 turnovers," Sanderson said. "Then in transition, they are going down there and it is a dunk fest."
"It goes back to fundamentals. It goes back to passing, catching, and rebounding the basketball."
The Bisons trailed by as many as 16 points with 6:56 to go in the first half before cutting the lead at halftime to 38-27.
Missouri came out in the second half and scored the first four points to increase the lead to 42-27. The Bisons never recovered from the first half pressure, and the closest the score ever got in the second half was 11 points.
The Tigers, led by guard Keon Lawrence who had 17 points, led by as many as 25 points in the game.
Trey Williams led all scorers in the game with 23 points, after posting 21 points to lead the way against Evansville on Monday night.
Eddie Ard was the only other Bison in double figures with 15 points.
The Bisons struggled from the field shooting for the third straight game. The Bisons went 20-58 from the field for 34.5 percent, and 9-31 from behind the 3-point line for 29 percent.
"We have just been shooting blanks," Sanderson said. "We just haven't made a shot at all. We are in too big of a hurry offensively and we have not gotten into a very good flow."
Missouri, who now improves to 4-0 on the year, shot 25-57 from the field for 43.9 percent and 12-23 from the 3-point line for 52.2 percent. In their first three games, the Tigers had only shot 48.1 percent from the free throw line, but against the Bisons, the Tigers shot an impressive 77.1 percent going 27-35 from the line.
"I don't understand it; I don't have a reason for it," Sanderson said. "I know we have two days of practice before we play Sunday afternoon against South Carolina, but there is no excuse now."
Sanderson said even though he was disappointed in the way the game turned out, he is still excited about what this team can do this year.
"As bad as we were, I am excited about our team, I really am," Sanderson said. "We have a lot of personnel. I feel very good about our team. We have a good quality win already, and we have not played very well yet this year."
The Bisons will now have two days off before they face Southeastern Conference Opponent South Carolina. Sanderson said that the team will look at the film from this game and learn how to correct their mistakes.
"Video tape is amazing, and our guys have been very good at learning from that," Sanderson said. "We will have two days to be able to watch it, understand it, and learn from it. I hope we can build on it."
"[This game] is unfortunate, but we will go back to work tomorrow and learn from our mistakes. Our guys will work extremely hard in practice and hope we will have a better result on Sunday afternoon."
The Bisons face Head Coach Scott Sanderson's alma mater on Sunday at South Carolina. Sanderson said it will be fun to go back to where he played college basketball, but this trip is all about business for him.
"It will be fun to get back home to my old stomping ground where I played college basketball," Sanderson said. "A lot of the players that played when I was there will be there, but I am there going for work."
"[I am going there] to try to get our team better and try to get them to understand their roles of what they can and can't do. I look forward to the game on Sunday afternoon, but we need two days of practice."
The Bisons take on South Carolina in Columbia on Sunday at 2:00 pm cdt. Radio Coverage for the game will be on AM 1200 with coverage beginning at 1:45 pm cdt. You can also listen to the game online at www.lipscombsports.com.