There has been a common theme among three straight losses for Missouri men's basketball: Shots aren't falling from the floor.

Against Texas A&M on Tuesday night, Missouri registered 15 attempts from inside the arc compared to 35 shots from 3-point territory. Those official statistics are slightly misleading, as any shot missed while being fouled doesn't count, but there is a broader concern.

Missouri made only nine of its 35 attempts from deep, or 25.7%, and finished the game 15-for-50 from the field, exactly 30% overall.

Despite their offensive struggles, the Tigers still had a chance to win in the final seconds.

A 95-foot pass from Mark Smith landed in the hands of a leaping Parker Braun, who found an open Torrence Watson with a crisp pass for a potential game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Unfortunately for Missouri, the final shot of the game was one of its many misses from beyond the arc, as the Aggies defeated the Tigers 66-64 in a Southeastern Conference matchup at Mizzou Arena.

One shot would’ve changed the outcome.

It would not, however, have erased a troubling trend for MU (9-9, 1-5 SEC).

For the third straight game, Missouri scored 41 points or fewer from the field. Against Mississippi State on Jan. 14 and again against Texas A&M, the Tigers managed only 39 points from the regular run of play. They had 41 on Saturday against Alabama.

In all three of those contests, shots weren’t falling at a successful rate, but there’s not a complete overhaul coming from the Tigers.

“What you do is what you do. So now all of a sudden, you can’t ask a guy that’s not a great driver to become a great driver,” Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin said. “I think guys play to their strengths, you continue to work, and I think more than anything, you utilize the shot fake and you get to the rim and make the next play.

"You look at guys at the NBA level. If the guy is a catch-and-shoot guy, he doesn’t become a tremendous ballhandler and attack the rim overnight. You have to do what you do.”

To counter its lack of production from the floor, Missouri made 25 of 26 free-throw attempts against the Aggies (9-8, 3-3), setting a new NCAA record with 54 attempts across multiple games without a miss.

The streak-breaker was a Mitchell Smith attempt that would've tied the game with under two minutes remaining. That miss also happened to be Smith’s first missed free throw this season.

Missouri ranks 14th in the country with a free-throw clip of 77.4% this season.

“I don’t even think most of us probably know that we set a record or anything,” Dru Smith said. “We’re all focused on the game, whether we’re winning or not.”

With 2.1 seconds left and Missouri down three, Dru Smith made the first of two free-throw attempts and tried to miss the second to give his team a chance at an offensive rebound. His second attempt swished, however, giving Texas A&M possession with a one-point lead.

The Tigers fouled an Aggie with no time coming off the clock. Texas A&M made one of two free throws, setting up Missouri's home run pass from Mark Smith.

The most important shot of the night bounced off the rim as time expired.

BROWN OUT OF ACTION

Missouri freshman Kobe Brown missed Tuesday's game due to sickness, sitting out for the first time this season.

His status for the Tigers' next game Saturday against West Virginia remains uncertain.

“It's definitely tough when you have a guy like that out,” Dru Smith said of Brown’s absence. “I think Kobe is very versatile, and I think he could’ve helped us on the defensive end ... so that's definitely tough. We need Kobe to be back as soon as he can, but of course we just hope that he gets well soon.”

eblum@columbiatribune.com