The Tigers had the ball with a chance to take the lead with 15 seconds left in regulation, but Pickett couldn’t inbound the ball within five seconds against the tight defense of UCF. When Dawkins hit two free throws, Missouri trailed 57-54. The Tigers had one more chance, and Geist’s contested 3-pointer at the buzzer sent the game into overtime.
The game was a defensive struggle from the beginning. When Missouri’s Mitchell Smith scored on a tip-in with three seconds left in the first half, it ended a 7½-minute scoring drought for the Tigers. UCF led 27-21 at halftime.
UCF: The Knights continue to play suffocating defense. UCF has held its last six opponents to an average of 58.7 points. The Knights apply pressure on the perimeter and have Fall inside to protect the rim. Fall wasn’t much of an offensive factor, scoring six points, but he was a game-changer defensively, blocking six shots and altering many more.
Missouri: The Tigers got an unexpected boost from Mitchell Smith, a sophomore forward who entered the game averaging just 3.2 points. Smith scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds. He played 23 minutes before fouling out with 2:16 left in regulation. If Smith can give the Tigers quality minutes, it would be a huge benefit to a team without much frontcourt depth.
UCF: The Knights return to Orlando for five straight home games, beginning with Saturday’s game against Grambling.
Missouri: The Tigers will play UT Arlington on Tuesday at Mizzou Arena.