The Cardinal hung tough with the 13th best team in the country on Thanksgiving, but ended up taking a 78-70 loss in the opening round of the Battle 4 Atlantis in Paradise Island.
Chasson Randle led Stanford with 22 points, but they were no match for Missouri Tigers‘ forward Laurence Bowers, who scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half.
“Second half is when you put the team away,” Bowers said. “On an individual standpoint, I would love to play better in the first half, but whenever I get the opportunity to step up for my team, that is what I am going to do. And if that is in the second half, I am going to try and continue to do that.”
Stanford trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half, but battled back within one in the early part of the second half. But that was where Bowers took over, leading the Tigers to a hard-fought victory. His layup with 41 seconds left put Missouri up 74-68. Phil Pressey, who had 18 points, closed out the game with four consecutive free throws.
The Cardinal struggled from behind the arc, making just six of 26 attempts.
Dwight Powell, who finished with a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds), said that Missouri dominated the battle in the paint:
It definitely was a physical game. We learned a lot from it. Those guys competed hard especially offensively and showed us that we have to have five guys rebound and we cannot allow them to bully us underneath like they did today. Something we can definitely improve on.
Stanford (3-2) Â has now lost two straight games after winning their previous eight in a row. With their elimination from the Battle 4 Atlantis, the Cardinal will return home to face Seattle next Wednesday.