Missouri defense clamps down on Wofford for 75-56 win
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Missouri held Wofford without a field goal for the final 14½ minutes, as the Tigers pulled away for a 75-56 victory on Monday.
Mark Smith led Missouri (3-1) with 19 points, Jeremiah Tilmon added 16 and Xavier Pinson finished with 10 points. Nathan Hoover led the Terriers (2-3) with 21 points.
Tilmon, a junior forward, asserted himself early — he made the first 3-pointer of his career — on his way to seven first-half points. The lead changed hands six times in a back-and-forth first half before Dru Smith dished a nice pass to Parker Braun for a layup and then muscled in for a leaning jumper to help the Tigers take a 36-31 halftime lead.
Pinson helped the Tigers break the game open midway through the second half. The game was tied at 45 when he created space with a crossover dribble and hit a jumper. He fed Mark Smith for a 3-pointer. Then Pinson made a steal and swooped in for a dunk. He added two free throws on the next possession to give the Tigers a 54-45 lead with 11:05 left.
After shooting 50% from the field in the first half, Wofford made only 19% after the break. The Terriers took a 45-43 lead on a Hoover basket with 14:35 left in the game but didn’t make another field goal. Storm Murphy finished with 10 points.
Wofford: Chevez Goodwin had only three fouls with 5 minutes left in the game. Four seconds later, he had fouled out. Goodwin was called for a foul on the defensive end then gave Missouri’s Mark Smith a shove to earn a technical. That ended what had been a solid night for the junior forward. He finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Missouri: By playing Wofford, the Tigers got an idea how they might stack up against Butler, a team they play next week in the Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City. Butler beat Wofford 80-61 on Saturday, the same margin as Missouri’s victory over the Terriers.
Wofford: The Terriers visit South Florida on Thursday.
Missouri: The Tigers play Morehead State on Wednesday at home.