Pinson leads Missouri to win over Arkansas in OT
Xavier Pinson scored a career-high 24 points to lead Missouri to an 83-79 overtime victory over Arkansas on Saturday.
Pinson, a sophomore guard, went 12 of 13 from the free-throw line in a foul-plagued game in which the teams combined to shoot 83 free throws. Javon Pickett scored 14 points and Reed Nikko finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds for the Tigers (11-12, 3-7 Southeastern Conference).
Mason Jones and Reggie Chaney scored 17 points each for the Razorbacks (16-7, 4-6). Chaney added 11 rebounds. Jimmy Whitt Jr. scored 15.
The teams combined for 25 fouls in the first half. That seemed to play into Missouri's hands, as it shoots 77% from the foul line and just 40% from the field. The Tigers made 15 of 18 free throws and led 36-30 at intermission.
The Razorbacks took the lead with six minutes left in the second half as Whitt began driving to the basket at will. He made 3 of 4 free throws and a short bank shot on three straight possessions. The game went back-and-forth for the rest of regulation. Missouri had the ball with a chance to take the lead near the end of regulation but committed a shot-clock violation, giving Arkansas the ball with 3.5 seconds left. The Razorbacks couldn't convert, sending the game to overtime.
The game swung early in overtime when Jones fouled out on a charge and Pinson drove to the basket for a layup, drew a foul and hit the free throw to give Missouri a 73-69 lead.
Both teams were missing star power because of injuries. Missouri played without Mark Smith (back) and Jeremiah Tilmon (foot), the team's second- and third-leading scorers. Tilmon has missed 10 of the last 12 games, and Smith has missed the last three. The Razorbacks played their second game without Isaiah Joe, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee early in the week. Joe is averaging 16 points.
Missouri: It was the fifth annual Rally for Rhyan game at Mizzou Arena. The game honors Rhyan Loos, the daughter of former Missouri assistant coach and current athletic administrator Brad Loos, and raises money for pediatric cancer research. The Rally for Rhyan Foundation has raised more than $500,000. Rhyan has been cancer-free for more than three years.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks entered the day projected as a No. 9 seed in the latest mock NCAA Tournament bracket by ESPN's Joe Lunardi, but they have been trending the wrong way. Arkansas has lost five its last seven. If the Razorbacks don't make the tournament, they might look back with regret on consecutive overtime losses to Auburn and Missouri.
Missouri: The Tigers visit 18th-ranked LSU on Tuesday.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks play at Tennessee on Tuesday.