It wasn’t easy for Missouri, but the Tigers pulled out a 73-55 victory over the Maryland Eastern-Shore Hawks last night at Mizzou Arena to continue the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.
An 11-0 run in the middle of the second half propelled Mizzou to their double-digit win. The stretch was highlighted by freshman K.J. Walton’s attacking mindset. Walton drove to the rim often in the second half, drawing five fouls. He finished the game with 11 points, going 9-10 from the line.
Walton started the game on the bench for Mizzou. He was subbed in with 14:58 to go in the second half. “K.J. gives us a boost off the bench,” said Kim Anderson.
The Missouri offense constantly bailed out stagnant possessions with big threes. Terrence Phillips (3-4 3FG) and Wes Clark (3-6 3FG) each contributed heavily to the outer attack.
“It’s something that I’ve been working on all summer,” said Phillips on his three-point shooting.
Throughout the game, the Tigers struggled in the rebounding department. They were outrebounded 31-29. While Mizzou is a small team, the tallest players on Maryland Eastern-Shore stand at just 6’9. This proves concerning for the future against taller teams, where Mizzou may see their hands full.
Sophomore D’Angelo Allen appeared in his first game of the season. In 15 minutes of play, Allen grabbed four boards and scored two points. Anderson indicated that Allen has earned more playing time. “I’m proud of him,” Anderson added.
Wes Clark led Mizzou with 15 points, both Terrence Phillips and Kevin Puryear added 13. The Tigers shot 44.7% from the field and held UMES to just 38.6%. Bakari Copeland led the Hawks with 16.
Missouri will take their 2-0 record into Cincinnati where they’ll face Xavier Tuesday night.
“I’m very excited. I think we can go in there and steal one,” said Terrence Phillips.
As soon as Phillips left the media room, Kim Anderson clarified.
“Can we amend that statement of ‘hoping that we can go steal one?’”
It may be a challenge for Mizzou, but Kim Anderson and 2-0 Tigers won’t think of themselves as the underdogs.