By Jack Knowlton
COLUMBIA – Mizzou’s defense sent the Terriers to the dog house in the second half as they beat Wofford 75-56 defending their home court and bouncing back after their loss against Xavier.
Mizzou’s defense was stifling in period two, finishing with a large margin of victory. They forced Wofford into a 14-minute scoring drought in the second half, as the Terriers made just four field goals the entire half. Foul trouble and poor shooting contributed to a major breakdown and, despite a close game at halftime, a deflating defeat for Wofford.
Scoing, balanced scoring in particular, would be no problem for Mizzou however. Eight Tigers got on the scoresheet with Mark Smith leading the way for all Mizzou scorers with 19 points. Team scoring, and 20 combined bench points, pushed the Tigers across the finish line in this game.
One particular standout off the bench for the Tigers was redshirt freshman Parker Braun. The Kansas native had four points, two rebounds, a block and a steal making the most of his limited action, and perhaps providing yet another bench option for coach Cuonzo Martin.
Speaking on Braun’s performance and his overall understanding of the came Coach Martin said “He’s a student of [the game]. He’s on our scouting team so he knows what’s going on.”
Braun was clearly prepared for his time on the court and benefited from his scout team role.
“We all have to be ready, we all have to hold each other accountable … being on the scout team [gets] everybody ready even me, preparing, knowing their plays, knowing their players,” Braun said.
With this win, the Tigers extend their record to 3-1 and bounce back from a tough game in which they fared well against a nationally ranked Xavier squad.
Mizzou has a quick turnaround on their hands as they welcome Morehead State on Wednesday. Although they have not faced any power five teams, the Eagles are undefeated and coach Martin’s side will look to avoid a major slip up as they have much tougher opponents on the horizon. The travel to Kansas City next week to take on Butler and then either Oklahoma or Stanford depending on results. Tests against two power five conference teams will be huge for this squad as they prepare for SEC play.
However, coach Martin will take the outstanding second half defensive performance, great scoring distribution from top to bottom, and great highlight plays from Tilmon JR., Xavier Pinson and others as a welcome sign of momentum as their non-conference stretch wears on.
Edited by Emma Moloney | firstname.lastname@example.org