Kissimmee, Fla., November. 17, 2016 – Xavier’s 83-82 overtime victory over Missouri highlighted Thursday’s opening day of action in the Tire Pros Invitational at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Xavier guard Malcolm Bernard blocked a shot that could have given the Tigers the lead in the final seconds. Then a foul by Missouri guard Terrence Phillips on the ensuing inbounds pass sent Edmond Sumner to the free-throw line, and his foul shot with 0.3 seconds remaining secured the victory for the 11th-ranked Musketeers.
“You always teach your kids to be aggressive, and I think (Phillips) was just being aggressive,” Missouri coach Kim Anderson said. “I’m sure he’d love to take it back. But you know what? He made a lot of great plays to get us to where we were (finishing with 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists). If it wasn’t for that it wouldn’t have come down to that play.”
In the other first-round games, Clemson made 51.7 percent of its shots from the field to defeat Davidson 95-78, Northern Iowa connected on 50.9 of its shot in beating Arizona State 82-63, and Oklahoma pulled away from Tulane in the second half for an 89-70 victory.
Friday’s second round will begin with Davidson taking on Missouri at 11:30 a.m. ET, followed by a matchup between Xavier and Clemson at approximately 1:30 p.m. ET. Even though the Musketeers are the team with the national ranking, Clemson has looked impressive so far this season in defeating both Davidson and Georgia by double-digits. Meanwhile, Xavier coach Chris Mack expressed some concerns about his team following the narrow overtime victory against Missouri.
“I don’t think it’s very difficult to get locked in and play Clemson. From what I saw they were drilling Davidson,” Mack said. “They’ve got arguably one of the best players in the country in (Jaron) Blossomgame (who is averaging 15 points and six rebounds per game this season). So it shouldn’t be too hard to captivate our attention based on the way we played and based on the way Clemson played.”
In the late games, Arizona State will take on Tulane beginning at 5 p.m. ET, and UNI will meet Oklahoma in the final game of the second round beginning at approximately 7 p.m. ET. All four second-round games will be broadcast on ESPNU.