Dec 08, 2019 3:25 AM

Missouri beats Temple 64-54 to snap three-game skid

Posted Dec 08, 2019 3:25 AM

PHILADELPHIA -- For Dru Smith and Missouri, it's been hard not to dwell on a stunning home loss to Charleston Southern earlier this week.


Only thing to do was take it out on the next team on the schedule.


Javon Pickett scored a season-high 16 points off the bench and Missouri snapped a three-game losing streak, beating Temple 64-54 on Saturday night.


Smith added 12 points and six rebounds for the visiting Tigers (5-4), whose loss to Charleston Southern on Tuesday was one of the worst of coach Cuonzo Martin's tenure.


"Obviously it's been on our minds," Smith said. "It's something we had to learn from. We had to move on. There's a lot of season left in front of us. I think we did a good job today using that as fuel and coming out and playing much better."


Quinton Rose led the way for Temple (6-2) with 16 points, 10 of which came in the first half. The Owls committed a season-high 19 turnovers, including an overthrown pass in transition with a minute to go to dash any comeback hopes. They also shot 2 for 21 from 3-point range.


"They didn't really pressure us; we were just careless with the ball," Rose said. "Maybe it is a lack of focus. We'll figure it out."


Trailing by six early in the second half, the Owls reeled off the next 12 points to take their first lead since they were up 4-2. The run began with a Monty Scott 3-pointer and included a Jake Forrester dunk that electrified a previously frustrated Liacouras Center crowd.


Forrester, an Indiana transfer who had to sit out the first four games until getting cleared to play by the NCAA, finished with 11 points in his first home game for the Owls.


Pickett helped Missouri fight back to tie the game at 47-47 with eight minutes remaining, and the Tigers took the lead 53-52 on a Jeremiah Tillman transition dunk with four minutes to go. Mark Smith's 3-pointer put the Tigers ahead 57-52 with 2:53 left, and Xavier Pinson helped close out the win with a driving layup in the final minute.


The Tigers outscored the Owls 15-2 over the final six-and-a-half minutes.


"I think we're as good as any team in the SEC," Martin said. "But you have to do it on the floor every night. It's one thing for me to believe it. They have to understand and believe it. And this was a great win for us against a very talented team."


Temple had more turnovers (11) than made field goals (eight) in the first half to fall behind 33-27 at halftime. No one on the Owls besides Rose scored until Forrester hit a free throw more than eight minutes into the contest.


CAN'T OPEN THE PICKETT FENCE


Martin credited Pickett for putting the defensive clamps on Rose, Temple's top scorer, in the second half.


"I wouldn't be shocked if he spends 10 years in the NBA," the Missouri coach said of Rose. "And I thought Javon really embraced that challenge. He's not an easy guy to defend."


Martin also praised the energy Pickett brings off the bench, which is a role the sophomore says has helped him.


"I feel more relaxed," said Pickett, who started 31 games as a freshman last season. "Coach all the time is telling me to be myself. I feel like I'm starting to be myself more."


BIG PICTURE



Missouri: The Tigers avoided the slow starts that had been plaguing them, leading for most of the first half before staging their winning rally midway through the second half. They also scored a measure of revenge on an Owls squad that beat them in a thriller last year at Mizzou Arena, 79-77.


Temple: Despite Saturday's setback, the Owls are showing promise under first-year coach Aaron McKie, who replaced Fran Dunphy. Their only losses have come to power conference teams, No. 3 Maryland and now Missouri, while they've beaten another Southeastern Conference squad, Texas A&M, and also Southern California on the road.


UP NEXT


Missouri: The Tigers return home to face Southern Illinois on Dec. 15.


Temple: The Owls host Saint Joseph's on Tuesday in one of Philadelphia's most intense rivalry games.


--- Associated Press ---

Continue Reading St Joseph Post
Dec 08, 2019 3:25 AM
Griffons roll past Henderson State 35-14 to win Live United Bowl

TEXARKANA, Ark. – The 300th all-time win for Missouri Western football came in the final game of its 50th season. The Griffons (9-3) trounced Henderson State (9-3) in the Agent Barry Live United Bowl to reach nine wins for the first time since 2012 and break a program record with its 11th straight win away from St. Joseph.

 

Missouri Western controlled the line of scrimmage throughout and turned in one of its best defensive performances of the season. Anthony Williams intercepted the Reddies' second play from scrimmage, setting the tone for the Griffon defense early. Markel Smith gave MWSU a 7-0 lead with 2:38 left in the first quarter after both teams showed some rust early in the game. Missouri Western elected to twice go for it on fourth down inside the Henderson State red zone and failed to convert either time, allowing Henderson State to tie the game with 5:04 left in the first half.

 

Blake Burau capped an 11-play, 68-yard drive that took 4:23 off the clock with a four-yard touchdown catch from Wyatt Steigerwald. Burau's TD put MWSU up 14-7 with 34 seconds left in the half. MWSU scored on its first four possessions of the second half. The final touchdown was a 16-yard pass to Luke Vang. The Griffons originally lined up to kick a field goal on 4th and two from the Henderson State 16, but kicker Sam Aviles motioned out as a receiver and Steigerwald to his quarterback position before hitting a wide open Vang to put MWSU up 35-14.

 

NOTABLES

  • Missouri Western became the first team to ever win the Live United Bowl twice.
  • Trey Vaval was named MVP after breaking the Live United Bowl record with 225 return yards. The freshman returned four punts for 143 yards and three kicks for 82. He actually broke the record in the first half and became the second Griffon specialist to win MVP of the game in as many years. Tyler Basch was named MVP as the team's kicker in 2018.
  • The Griffons out-gained Henderson State 463-263 even with Vaval's returns often setting the Griffs up with great field position.
  • Missouri Western had the ball for more than 39 minutes.
  • Henderson State was held to just 73 rushing yards on 24 carries.
  • Two Reddie quarterbacks were limited to 10 completions on 37 attempts for 290 yards. The Griffon defense also had three sacks.
  • MWSU rushed for 287 yards with Markel Smith (136) and Shamar Griffith (110) both going over 100.
  • The Griffons were 11 for 18 on third down.
  • Steigerwald threw two touchdown passes in a game for the 10th time in 2019.
  • Both touchdown passes were to tight ends, giving the position group 15 on the season.


--- MWSU Athletics ---