By: Carter Woodiel, KCOU Sports
Missouri men’s basketball’s 2014 season got off to a strong start Wednesday night, as the Tigers dispatched William Jewell College 72-31 at the Hearnes Center.
Sophomore point guard Wes Clark led the way for Mizzou, scoring 14 points and grabbing seven rebounds in 27 minutes of action. Junior Ryan Rosburg, one of two returning starters for Missouri, put up 13 points and 8 rebounds, and freshman Tramaine Isabell provided a boost off the bench with 10 points, three rebounds, and two assists.
Missouri performed excellently on defense throughout the night, holding William Jewell to just 9-of-52 shooting for the game. The Cardinals, who compete in Division II, fell behind early in the first half, but closed the period on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 30-17 at halftime. In the second half, Missouri took control, outscoring the Cardinals 42-14 over the final 20 minutes.
No William Jewell starter scored more than five points. Reserve Patrick Whelan led the team with six.
The contest was a bit different from the average Mizzou game. In addition to the game being at the Hearnes Center, the game was played with a 30-second shot clock instead of the traditional 35-second clock.
Despite the strong showing by the defense, Mizzou’s offense struggled early to find good shots, shooting just 9-of-30 (30%) in the 1st half. Missouri got into a better rhythm in the second half, and made 54 percent of their shots from the field.
The Tigers have one more exhibition game scheduled, against UMSL on Nov. 8 from Mizzou Arena. Their season will begin in earnest on Nov. 14 at home against UMKC.