"I think it would be very important to us for him to continue to play like he did tonight," Knight said. "He worked hard on defense. He got some rebounds, and he came up with two or three 3-point plays that were important."
Andre Emmett scored 26 points and Andy Ellis had a double-double.
The victory pushed the Raiders (19-6, 8-5 Big 12) into a three-way tie for third place in the Big 12 with Texas and Oklahoma State. The Cowboys beat the Longhorns 85-80 in Austin on Wednesday night.
The Tigers (18-9, 7-6) are in sixth place.
"I am OK with the aspects of the team's effort, but we haven't completely embraced what it takes to win," Missouri coach Quin Snyder said. "We need more of a basic level of toughness on this team."
Tech's win was sparked by a second-half surge led by Kasib Powell and Emmett, who combined for 28 points in the half.
Powell ended with 18 points. Ellis had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Knight said the win over Missouri isn't what he'd call "big."
"I've never bought into the theory that wins are bigger or losses are bigger than any other," he said. And that goes for the opposite. "I've never seen a small win."
The game was a matchup of the Big 12's top two scorers. Coming into the game, Emmett led the Big 12 with 22.3 points per game to Kareem Rush's 21.
Rush scored 22 points and had 10 rebounds, and Clarence Gilbert added 18 to lead the Tigers.
Tech led 43-39 at halftime. The Raiders started slowly and trailed but after a timeout at 15:53, they went on an 11-4 run, which included back-to-back 3-pointers by Will Chavis, over about five minutes to take the lead for good.
Late in the half, Missouri drew close, outscoring Tech 10-5 in the final 3:51.
Chavis led Tech in 3-pointers (3-for-3) had seven assists and zero turnovers.
"Will has played well all year," Knight said. "We didn't sprinkle anything on him to make him start playing well."
The win gave Knight a 2-0 edge over Snyder. In 1999 at Indiana, Knight's Hoosiers beat Snyder's Tigers 73-68 in Missouri.