By: Matthew Terry
It wasn’t pretty, but the Missouri Tigers defeated the Northern Illinois Huskies 78-71 on Friday night at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers shot 53 percent from the field, including 6-of-15 from beyond the arc. Leading the Tigers in scoring was Kevin Puryear, scoring 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
Mizzou started the game on a 12-0, aided by NIU missing their first 10 shots, and 12 of their first 13. Mizzou experienced difficulties hanging onto the ball in the first half, turning the ball over six times in the first seven minutes and eight times in the half. Northern Illinois shot 8-of-29 in the first half, but still was able to come back and take the lead 23-22 with 1:47 to go in the first, before the Tigers took the lead to end the half 27-26.
The second half started with both teams exchanging the lead, with four lead changes in the first couple of minutes. Northern Illinois hit a few three-pointers to start the half, before going cold from long distance, only shooting 3-of-14 from 3 in the second half. The momentum swung Mizzou’s way at around the 15-minute mark in the second half, when Russell Woods hit a pair of and-1’s back-to-back, however he only converted one, before following up with a slam dunk on the next possession. Woods shot 4-of-4 for the game with nine points. Foul trouble plagued Mizzou in the second half, however they were able to overcome it when NIU ran into foul problems of their own, and Mizzou hit 12-of-20 free throws in the second half.
The Tigers’ next game will be on Wednesday, Dec. 9 at home against Nebraska-Omaha.