Missed free throws and an ill-timed turnover cost Vanderbilt a chance at upsetting No. 15 Missouri on the road Wednesday night.
The Commodores were just 50 percent from the free-throw line, and Missouri’s Marcus Denmon converted a three-point play after picking up a steal with five seconds left in overtime as Vanderbilt fell 85-82.
After Missouri (7-1) tied the game at 82-82 with 33 seconds left in overtime, the Commodores (6-2) had a chance to hold for the last shot.
Guard Brad Tinsely’s pass was stolen by Denmon, who raced down the court, scored and was fouled by Tinsley with five seconds left. After Denmon made the free throw, Tinsley missed a contested 3-pointer at the buzzer.
“Brad shouldn’t have thrown it because Jeff (Taylor) was covered. It was just a play that happens,” Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said in his postgame radio interview. “Jeff was out too far. He kind of got a little lazy in getting himself down and getting open. That’s all right. We’ll learn from this.”
The Commodores, who had a five-game winning streak snapped, could have put the game away in regulation. Ahead 72-71, Taylor missed two free throws with 27 seconds left. Missouri took advantage as Ricardo Ratliffe made the second of two free-throw attempts and tied it 72-72 with 6.6 seconds to go. Tinsley’s 3-pointer at the top of the key at the buzzer in regulation also missed.
The Commodores made just 11-of-22 free throws.
“They just didn’t fall for us,” Taylor said.
Taylor was 0-for-4 from the free-throw line and finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds but had six turnovers. John Jenkins led all scorers with 23 points, shooting 5-of-10 from 3-point range. Center Festus Ezeli scored 16 points, grabbed nine rebounds, had six blocks but was just 4-of-10 from the foul line. Lance Goulbourne, starting in place of Andre Walker (mononucleosis), had 11 points and seven rebounds.
For Missouri, Denmon scored 21 points, Michael Dixon had 15, Ratliffe added 14 and Kim English chipped in 12. Vanderbilt doesn’t play again until Dec. 18, when it hosts Southeastern Louisiana.