By Jack Knowlton
Missouri men’s basketball opened up their season with a dominant 82-42 win over Incarnate Word in front of an excited home crowd.
The Cardinals couldn’t even keep it close shooting just 27 percent from the field- their offense will need some work if they want to improve after their 17th loss in a row dating back to last season. They also shot just 53 percent from the free throw line, a sharp decline as they were one of the best free throw shooting teams in the country last season.
Shooting wasn’t a problem for the Tigers at least from close range. They shot 44 percent from the field and though their three point percentage is something to improve upon, they took advantage of missed shots grabbing 47 rebounds. Mizzou also forced the Cardinals to commit 21 turnovers scoring 19 points off those turnovers.
VIDEO: Coach Martin meets with media following 82-42 win
Jeremiah Tilmon was the standout utility man on both ends of the floor for the Tigers dropping 16 points, seven boards and five blocks.
“I thought Jeremiah was solid,” head coach Cuonzo Martin said. “I thought he did a really good job blocking shots… I thought he did the best job since he’s been in a Mizzou uniform of having a presence around the rim.”
Freshman Mario McKinney Jr. also had a great debut for the Tigers. He scored seven points, with three boards, and an assist in 14 minutes of play. He also brought the Mizzou Arena to their feet with several acrobatic dunks. Fellow freshman Tray Jackson also had a solid outing, scoring six and grabbing five rebounds. Freshman hitting the ground running will be a welcome sign for the Mizzou faithful as the Tigers continue their non conference slate.
Coach Martin said he’s be pleased with such a high quality opening performance, but will be looking ahead, as the Tigers non conference schedule begins to ramp up.
Mizzou will face Northern Kentucky at home on Friday. Coach Martin gave a glimpse into what the Tigers can expect from a Northern Kentucky side that made an appearance in the NCAA tournament last year. “They play a little more zone than the team last year because they have a new coach, and they have really good guard play.”
Mizzou face Northern Kentucky on Friday night before a road trip to Cincinnati to face a highly touted No. 19 Xavier squad.
Edited by Garrett Jones | firstname.lastname@example.org