When you think of an 11-0 team in major college hoops, that squad would ideally be aesthetically pleasing in most aspects, but while that certainly wasn’t the case for Missouri on Saturday in Raleigh, NC, they managed to escape with a 4-point road win over the NC State Wolfpack.
Mizzou shot just 40.4% from the field on the day, but they used a solid defensive effort and some quality 3-point shooting to get an elusive road win against a quality opponent. Jordan Clarkson led the way for the Tigers with 21 points and 4 assists, but even he shot just 5-for-15 in the game, and while it was a balanced effort, no one stood out in terms of efficiency. Still, they were able to make 7 threes, and that was a big difference in the game.
On the Wolfpack side, they were just as average from the field (41%) but didn’t make up for it with 3-point shooting or quality work from the charity stripe, and when you throw in a rebounding disadvantage, it was impossible to make up the difference. Forward T.J. Warren had the best individual game on either side with 24 points and 13 rebounds, but he didn’t get a lot of support, and the better team ended up on top.
It certainly isn’t an indictment of NC State to lose this game, but it’s an exceptionally good road win for Frank Haith and Missouri.