Isiaih Mosley helps Missouri's men's basketball team reach 3-0 with win over Lindenwood

Isiaih Mosley helps Missouri’s men’s basketball team reach 3-0 with win over Lindenwood

By Calum McAndrew Special to the Post-Dispatch

COLUMBIA, Mo. — No Mosley, no more.

Missouri comfortably made it three wins in three games under new coach Dennis Gates by beating Lindenwood 82-53 on Sunday at Mizzou Arena, and that included a lengthy showing for standout transfer Isiaih Mosley.

Mosley sat out of the Tigers’ second game of the season, but Gates said Friday that he could have put the Missouri State transfer in if he wanted to do so. On Sunday night, he opted to do just that.

But Missouri fans might have to wait for the high-scoring performances that were billed. It wasn’t his sharpshooting — he finished with four points on perfect shooting — but his creativity and vision that were on display against the Lions.

Shortly after his introduction to the game, he drove to the basket and fired a pass out to the perimeter to a wide-open Nick Honor, who dropped in what proved to be a rare 3 for the Tigers. In an even more flashy push forward, Mosley showed off some nifty tricks and speedy hands and sent a no-look pass back to the perimeter but DeAndre Gholston rimmed out the shot from deep.

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In the second half, Mosley weaved between defenders until he had carved a path to the paint. But the best was yet to come. He slipped a pass through to true freshman Aidan Shaw, who took the ball in stride and slammed down a dunk to put the Tigers ahead by 15 points and heading out of sight of the Division I newcomer Lions (1-2).

Mosley and Shaw combined again with one minute remaining. Mosley sent up an alley-oop pass for Shaw to knock down again, putting an exclamation mark on the win.

“I love the fact that we are being unselfish,” Gates said. “I love the fact that our guys are willing to throw Aidan Shaw a lob beyond halfcourt, and Aidan Shaw is running the lane to get those looks.”

It was the type of movement and play that has become pretty common for Missouri through three games under Gates — and there was plenty of it on display again. The Tigers cruised to a 15-point lead at the half and seldom gave up their double-digit advantage as they continually punished the Lions in the lane, where the Tigers amassed 50 points.

“I think whenever you shoot the ball how we shot it last game (in a 92-85 victory over Penn on Friday), Lindenwood was concerned, so they ran some guys off the line and guys were able to get the ball moving and get some easy sneakers,” Gates said.

The Lions got off to a promising start, producing a couple of stops early in the game to hold an early lead. But turnover troubles soon caught up with the Lions, as Missouri made them pay in transition with 20 points off turnovers and 15 fast-break points.

“When it comes down to the beginning of the season, you allow each game to identify who you are,” Gates said. “Through situations you encounter, through adversity that you may have to get through, but also through the different players that stand up and lead. Through it all you’ve seen in our first three games, different guys stepping up in different ways.”

Case in point — there were eight seconds between Kobe Brown grabbing a contested defensive rebound underneath midway through the second half and Missouri finding the net on the other end. Brown sent a pass halfway down the court to D’Moi Hodge, who quickly moved the ball to Tre Gomillion. But instead of taking it to the net, Gomillion fed it right back to Hodge. He took it in stride past the lone Lindenwood defender and made the easiest of layups.

Indeed, much of Missouri’s production in transition involved Gomillion.

In the first half, Mosley lofted a pass up to the backboard, where the powerful guard was on hand to catch and dunk in one almighty alley-oop swoop—one of three for Gomillion in the first half alone.

It was another stellar showing for the Cleveland State transfer, who has enjoyed a fast start to his MU career. He finished with eight points and three assists against Lindenwood.

Almost immediately after Gomillion’s introduction, he saved an errant ball at the baseline with a leaping punch that found its way back to MU hands, setting up Brown for his first points of the game. Moments later, Gomillion thundered forward after a Gholston steal, received the pass in transition and slammed down his first of three dunks.

Noah Carter — not to be outdone one game after leading the Tigers in scoring to beat Penn — had back-to-back dunks at the tail end of the first half, one off a bullet pass from Sean East that carved the Lions open in an instant.

Brown didn’t quite show the same hops as his teammates, but Lindenwood still struggled to contain the bruising forward in the lane and under the rim.

With less than a minute remaining in the first half, the preseason All-SEC player put his strength on display, shaking off three foes before rising above them for a comfortable-looking layup that was anything but. He came up just short of a double-double, with 15 points and nine rebounds and seven assists, leading the Tigers in all three categories.

“Ultimately Kobe came out and had a great game,” Gates said. “We know he didn’t have the best game last game (in which he scored eight points), but … he just didn’t force things and he was three for five from the field. And he just turned that around this evening and went seven for 10, nine rebounds.”

Missouri struggled from deep for most of the game making only eight of its 27 attempts — a stat that was padded in the final seconds, as backup Ben Sternberg knocked down a near-half court effort at the buzzer to give the fans a going home gift with its most comfortable win of the season.

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