Jeremiah Tilmon scored 21 points Tuesday night, including a dunk with 1:12 left that helped shut off a late Arkansas comeback, as Missouri notched a 79-78 Southeastern Conference win at Columbia, Mo.
Jordan Geist added 18 for the Tigers (12-11, 3-8), sinking a free throw with 21.6 seconds left to make it a three-point game. Freshman Xavier Pinson contributed 11 points and nine rebounds in a reserve role.
Daniel Gafford pumped in a game-high 26 points for the Razorbacks (14-10, 5-6), dunking with 10.5 seconds remaining to draw them within a point. An offensive foul on Pinson while Missouri tried to inbound the ball gave Arkansas an opportunity to win the game.
But Jalen Harris forced up a leaning jumper from the foul line while being draped by Tilmon. The shot clanked off the front iron, and Tilmon hugged the rebound as time expired, dealing the Razorbacks a loss that could damage their chances for an at-large bid to next month’s NCAA Tournament.
Isaiah Joe scored 17 points for Arkansas, going 4 of 9 from the 3-point line, and Mason Jones chipped in 12. The Razorbacks shot 28 of 60 from the field, but canned only 5 of 20 3-point tries.
Missouri took the lead less than two minutes into the game on a 3-pointer by Geist and spent the next eight minutes steadily adding on to it. Another three by Geist, his third in the first nine-plus minutes, upped the margin to 26-12 with 10:42 left in the first half.
Arkansas finally gained some traction with a 12-4 burst over the next three-plus minutes, with Adrio Bailey converting a layup at the 7:25 mark to draw it within six points and force a Tigers timeout. Missouri responded with six straight points and took a 46-36 advantage to the locker room.
The difference was volume as opposed to quality. Neither team made 45 percent from the floor, but the Tigers took eight more shots because they grabbed 12 offensive boards. They converted those into 14 second-chance points.
—Field Level Media