COLUMBIA, Mo. - In a relentless back-and-forth battle through the buzzer, the Missouri men's basketball team earned its fourth-straight win on Saturday in front of a sold-out crowd of 15,061 fans at Mizzou Arena, defeating Ole Miss, 82-77.
With the win, the Tigers improve to 23-8 overall and 11-7 in conference play - the most victories by Mizzou since 2013-14, while matching their best-ever SEC win tally with 11. Missouri also secured a double bye for the SEC Tournament for the first time, earning the No. 4 seed at next week's championship. Ole Miss dropped to 11-20 and 3-15 against SEC foes.
Four Tigers scored in double figures with seniors Kobe Brown and Noah Carter leading the way on Senior Day with 17 points apiece. Graduate guards DeAndre Gholston and D'Moi Hodge chipped in 15 and 14 points, respectively.
Brown also led BU with seven rebounds, while graduate student Nick Honor paced the attack with five assists.
In a game that featured 18 lead changes and 11 ties, it's no surprise the outcome wasn't decided until the final minute. Hodge splashed a three with just under 2:30 to play, which brought the capacity crowd to its feet, giving the Tigers a 74-72 lead they would not relinquish.
A defensive stop followed by an offensive board provided an extra opportunity for Gholston to lay one in and advanced the lead to 76-72 with 70 seconds remaining. Mizzou brought it home from there, going 6-for-7 from the charity stripe in the final minute and sending its nine-person senior class out with a victory, the team's fourth in-a-row.
In the first half, Mizzou grabbed a double-digit lead only for a run on both sides of halftime setting up the tight conclusion. Trailing by a point, Mizzou went on an 18-6 spurt to pull in front by 11, 35-24. Ole Miss, however, would not go away quietly, finishing the opening period on an 8-2 run before adding another 8-2 spurt to start the second. Overall, the 16-4 stretch put the visitors up a point, setting up a second half where neither team would lead by more than four points until the final minute of play.
Missouri shot 55.2 percent from the floor, marking its second-highest game percentage in SEC play this season, aided by making 60.9 percent of its baskets in the second half. The Rebels made 50.9 percent of their field goals but were also forced into 16 turnovers with the Tigers collecting 11 steals on the day.
Mizzou begins its postseason campaign next week in Nashville, Tennessee, at the SEC Tournament. The Tigers jumped over Tennessee to finish as the No. 4 seed and open their quest for a title in the quarterfinals on Friday at approximately 2:30 p.m.