Republished from the Jefferson City News Tribune
COLUMBIA — Missouri played Missouri, and somehow Missouri didn’t win.
It didn’t lose either.
Two men’s basketball squads played to a 35-all tie Tuesday night in the Tigers’ annual Black and Gold scrimmage at Mizzou Arena.
“I feel kind of like Bud Selig in the All-Star Game,” first-year Missouri coach Kim Anderson said, referring to the former MLB commissioner and his league’s 2002 tie. “A lot of controversy back there. They wanted to finish the game.”
The Gold team started Tramaine Isabell, Jakeenan Gant, Namon Wright, Wes Clark and Ryan Rosburg. The Black team started Montaque Gill-Caesar, Keith Shamburger, Keanau Post, Deuce Bello and D’Angelo Allen.
Post led the Tigers with 14 points and five rebounds in the 20-minute game. Fellow forward Rosburg added nine points and three rebounds.
“Those two guys have really come out and played well,” Anderson said. “They’ve played hard. Ryan, of course, has the experience from a year ago … but Keanau has really come out in practice and has asserted himself from an offensive standpoint.”
Post looked more decisive on offense, especially when compared to his struggles last season.
“When I think about last year, I don’t think confidence was the issue,” Post said. “I think it was just being comfortable. I think I’m just more comfortable this year. I’m ready for it.”
He even broke out a new move: a baseline turnaround jumper that put the Black team up 30-27.
“I didn’t really have any other option. I was having fun, so I figured why not try it,” he said.
Post said Rosburg didn’t think he should have tried the fadeaway shot, but the Tigers expect the big men to play a big part in Missouri’s offense this season.
“It’s night and day,” Rosburg said of the big men’s role. “Last year it just seemed like a lot of times we were just decoys, running around setting the screens, and this year guys are getting yelled at and (coaches are) making them run if they don’t pass to us or look at us. It’s constantly focused on the big men.
“Someone just told me out there that me and Keanau were the leading scorers, and it was just like, ‘Wow, who would’ve thought last year?’”
Gant, Wright, and Gill-Caesar put up seven points apiece. Wright tried a three-pointer at the buzzer that would’ve given Gold the win, but it hit off the rim.
If the coaches did one thing right, it was dividing up the teams. Black and Gold looked neck and neck throughout the night, and no team led by more than four (Black at 33-29).
Allen was fouled by Hayden Barnard and sunk two free throws to put Black up 35-32 late, but Clark hit a layup and drew a foul. He sunk the free throw to tie the game.
The crowd was on the small end — the Cardinals’ and Royals’ playoff games being played Tuesday night didn’t help — but Anderson received a hearty round of applause when he was introduced.
He said he was happy overall with his team’s performance, especially the first seven minutes.
“My biggest fear was that we go out there tonight and everything we practiced would just go up in smoke and we’d just run up and down and fire it,” Anderson said. “And we didn’t.”
The team has just started working on offense the last four or five days, Anderson said, but the offensive production surpassed his expectations.
“We’re a team, I think, that’s evolving from an offensive standpoint,” he said. “I think we just need to do a better job defensively, especially in transition.”
Johnathan Williams III sat out with a slight meniscus tear. Anderson said Williams has improved, and he hopes to get him back in as little as one week.
“We’re not practicing tomorrow, so I think for a couple days we’re going to ease him off a little bit,” Anderson said. “I think he had a little bit of swelling, but it wasn’t anything of great concern.”
In the women’s game, Black defeated Gold, 39-31. Junior guard Morgan Stock was the leading overall scorer with 11 points. Sophomore forward Kayla McDowell and junior guard Lianna Doty each had nine.
Stock and Montaque Gill-Caesar won the 3-point contest that was held between the two scrimmages. Bello topped Gant to win the dunk contest by putting in a dunk over Anderson’s head on his second attempt. Two weeks ago, Anderson predicted Bello would win the team’s first dunk contest.
“I felt a breeze go through,” Anderson said, “and then Rosburg said, ‘Coach, you almost got killed.’ I said, ‘Was it close?’ He said, ‘It was real close. Good thing you ducked.’”