K.J. Walton (Nate Latsch-Scout.com)

Missouri-Western Kentucky Hoops Preview

Missouri (3-3) hosts Western Kentucky (3-4) on Saturday afternoon.

The University of Missouri basketball team is looking to bounce back from a home loss to North Carolina Central with a non-conference game against Western Kentucky on Saturday afternoon.

MISSOURI VS. WESTERN KENTUCKY

When: 2 p.m. CT

Where: Mizzou Arena

TV: SECN+

Projected starting lineups

Missouri (3-3) 

G Terrence Phillips 8.5 ppg, 4.3 apg

G Frankie Hughes 13.5 ppg, 3.3 rpg

G Cullen VanLeer 6.8 ppg, 2.5 apg

F Kevin Puryear 11.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg

F Russell Woods 15.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg

Western Kentucky (3-4) 

G Pancake Thomas 11.4 2.9 rpg 

G Junior Lomomba 7.1 ppg, 3.6 apg 

F Que Johnson 14.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg

F Justin Johnson 12.6 ppg, 9.3 rpg

F Ben Lawson 6 ppg, 4.4 rpg

What to watch for: 

Missouri had a two-game win streak snapped with Monday night’s 62-52 loss against visiting Western Kentucky. The Tigers shot just 25 percent from the field and 25.9 percent from 3-point range in the loss.

Missouri is averaging 73.2 points per game and shooting 42.7 percent from the field and 30.3 percent on 3-pointers this season. 

Mizzou sophomore guard K.J. Walton is averaging 9.2 points per game, which ranks third on the team, and 16.5 minutes per game, which ranks eighth. 

Missouri is without freshman forward Reed Nikko, who is out with an ankle sprain. A 6-foot-10 freshman, Nikko was averaging 5.4 points and 2.4 rebounds per game through five games and is tied for the Tigers’ team lead with four blocked shots.

Western Kentucky has lost three straight games. The Hilltoppers lost to Washington and UNLV at the Global Sports Classic in Las Vegas and then lost at Eastern Kentucky 78-59 on Wednesday. 

Justin Johnson, a 6-7 junior forward, had a team-high 18 points in the loss to Eastern Kentucky. Lomomba, a 6-5 redshirt senior guard, scored 15 points, including nine from the free throw line. 

Both teams have used the same starting lineups for each of their games.

LINKS

Missouri loses to North Carolina Central

Video: Missouri post-game press conference

Video: North Carolina Central coach Moton press conference

Photo gallery: Missouri-North Carolina Central

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at natelatsch@gmail.com

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