COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Charleston Southern came to Missouri with a losing record and one of the nation’s worst offenses. The Buccaneers left with a stunning 68-60 upset over the Tigers on Tuesday.
“I knew this day was coming,” Charleston Southern coach Barclay Radebaugh said. “I didn't know that it would start against Missouri, but I knew this day was coming, because they play so hard, and they play so well together.”
Charleston Southern made 8 of 11 3-pointers in the second half, including two 3s by Duncan LeXander and one by Travis Anderson in the last 2½ minutes when Missouri rallied. After the Tigers came within 59-57 with 1:54 left to play, LeXander dropped a 3, as did Anderson on the next Charleston Southern possession.
“I's amazing how we shot the ball in the second half,” Radebaugh said. “You know, I don't know that we’ve made eight threes all year.”
The Buccaneers, of the Big South Conference, entered the game ranked 352nd out of 353 Division I teams in 3-point shooting, but made 10 of 22 Tuesday. Missouri made just 4 of 26 shots from beyond the arc.
“We have to really work on offensive flow to be better there,” Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin said.
Radebaugh acknowledged that his team plays a lot of Power 5 opponents, which this season has included a 94-46 loss to Michigan State.
“I don't even want to know my record against Power 5,” Radebaugh said. “They're hard. I mean, they're very difficult to win.”
LeXander led the Buccaneers (3-5) with 17 points, including five treys. Anderson scored 15, and Phlandrous Fleming 11.
The Tigers (4-4) scored only three points in the first 10 minutes of the game, but forward Mitchell Smith scored 10 points in the last 10 minutes of the half to propel Missouri to a 28-23 lead at intermission.
After going scoreless in the first half, Missouri forward Jeremiah Tilmon finished with 15. Guard Mark Smith scored nine for the Tigers. Starting point guard Dru Smith fouled out after scoring just two points with four rebounds, four assists and three turnovers. It was the third straight loss for the Tigers, who were favored by 26 points.
“It was a tough, tough one,” Martin said. One of the toughest ones and one of the games I don’t know if I’ll ever forget. We didn’t play at the level we’re of course capable of playing at and the way we practice. So it was really tough.”
HE SAID IT
“I believe in celebrating wins,” Charleston Southern coach Barclay Radebaugh said. “So our tradition is a water fight. I mean, we have a water fight. … I had two gigantic cups of water, and I got them, but I was outnumbered 13 to one and got drenched. And then we danced. And everybody danced. … And we'll go get milkshakes tonight; we have a tradition that we get milkshakes, and it's been a long time since we got a milkshake against a Power 5 team, so that's gonna taste really good.”
Charleston Southern: The Buccaneers showed immense progress offensively against a Power 5 conference opponent. Charleston Southern had scored in the 40s in four of its previous five losses.
Missouri: Slow starts have become a trend for the Tigers. In last week’s losses to Butler and Oklahoma in the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City, Missouri fell behind 15-3 each time. Against Charleston Southern, the Tigers trailed 12-3 midway through the first half and never regained the second-half momentum they’ve found in the past.
Charleston Southern: The Buccaneers will face North Carolina Central on Saturday at home.
Missouri: The Tigers will play Temple on Saturday in Philadelphia.
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