Graduate transfer Kassius Robertson finished with 19 points to lead the Tigers offensively in his final college game.
But after a dream of a first half in their NCAA tournament game against Missouri, the Seminoles found themselves on the brink of a nightmare. He walked the handshake line after the game with tears in his eyes. Missouri never got closer than six in the second half before the Seminoles sealed the win with 15 straight points. "We have to be better at whom we are than the team we're playing against".
Things went from bad to worse in the first half for the Tigers. They turned the ball over 10 times. Junior guard PJ Savoy scored nine of his 12 total points in the first period of play, knocking down two three-pointers, shooting 50 percent from beyond the three-point mark. His brother, Michael, airballed twice. The Tigers are not going to win this game if they have the offense that they ended the season with, especially if they shoot 27 percent - and 21 percent from the field - like their last game.
This year, she's led the Tigers to 24 wins, the most for Missouri in a single season since 1983-84, and the 5-seed in the Lexington Regional, where they'll take on the 12-seed Florida Gulf Coast at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday in Stanford, California.
"Our coach told us to keep our poise", Savoy said. The bad news is they will be without their second leading scorer, senior forward Jordan Barnett, after he was suspended for one game following a DUI arrest last weekend. The Seminoles can score in bunches and I expect them to put up a number that Missouri just can't hit. "On a smaller scale, just games like this when you're down 20 and not letting it trickle up and up ..."
Missouri was a different team in the second half.
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Even with understandable freshman struggles, she's been the model for consistent offense in her time at Missouri, with almost as many games with 25 points or more (15) as she does games scoring only single-digit points (19). First, Porter picked up his fourth foul, pushing a screener on the defensive end and forcing him out of the game momentarily.
Late in the second after Dow hit a 3-pointer on the other end then pounded with Cunningham inside and other FGCU defenders swarmed, Cunningham still was able to find a way to nearly underhand the ball up and into the hoop. "That's what we need every game". We fought a lot of adversity this season and people counted us out at times during the season.
Despite the exhaustion, Martin said he was proud of the way his team responded.
Or as coach Leonard Hamilton calls it, a team effort. But most fans, myself included, simply wanted to get back to being relevant.
Porter is considered a likely lottery pick, possibly even top five for the National Basketball Association draft in June.
Jontay, on the other hand, said he's not sure about what his future holds. The freshman and preseason All-American said he probably won't make his decision on what's next for a little while. "After that, I don't know". "Hopefully I have to see what the doctors say to see if I'll be able to go".
"All season our identity was the quality of our depth", Kabengele said.