SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico | When Leo Lyons dropped in a free throw with 7 minutes, 4 seconds to play, Missouri held a seven-point edge over Xavier.
From that point Missouri missed eight of 10 free throws and paved the way for its own demise in a 75-71 loss to Xavier.
The Tigers, now 2-1, will play Fairfield on Friday in the loser’s bracket of the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament at 10 a.m. Central time.
Fairfield lost to Virginia Tech 74-57 in the first game of the tournament on Thursday. Virginia Tech plays Xavier, 3-0, Friday afternoon.
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Missouri made only 15 of 31 free-throw attempts in the game and seven of 20 in the second half, but it was the stretch run that killed the Tigers.
Missouri led 65-62 when Lyons missed two freebies at 4:57.
Missouri led 67-64 when Lyons missed two more at 4:06.
DeMarre Carroll missed another free throw at 2:40 to play - Missouri’s five straight misfire from the line - then made the back end. At that point, Missouri led 70-66.
The Tigers’ lead was down to 70-69 when Carroll was fouled and went to the line for two free throws with 1:38 to play.
Carroll missed both shots.
And then, with Xavier up 73-70 with only 6 seconds to play, the Musketeers fouled MU point guard Zaire Taylor near midcourt.
Taylor missed the first free throw, hit the second.
Missouri -- down 73-71 -- fouled Terrell Holloway with 4.2 seconds left, hoping Holloway would miss at least one free throw.
So much for hope. Holloway swished both and finished the game 10 for 10 from the free throw line.
In fact, Holloway scored Xavier’s last six points, all on free throws in the final 81 seconds.
Carroll led Mizzou with 17 points but was three of seven on free throws.
Lyons scored 15 points but missed five of 10 from the line.
Derrick Brown led Xavier with 16 points and finished six of seven from the line. B. J. Raymond scored 11 points for Xavier and was eight of 10 on free throws.
Xavier hit 30 of 41 free throws in a game that Missouri made more baskets (25) than the Musketeers (19) did.