It was a shaky start for the number 15 Mizzou Tigers, as they trailed Arkansas Fort Smith 18-16 with about nine mintues to play in the first half. But the Tigers were able to take a late push to end the first half and turn that into a 16-4 run to start the second, and Mizzou beat Arkansas- Fort Smith in their final exhibition game of the season, 115-74.
Laurence Bowers lead the way for the Tigers as he scored 26 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Michael Dixon also had 19 points for Mizzou.
Head coach Mike Anderson worked in four new starters from the exhibition-opener, including three newcomers Phil Pressey, Ricardo Ratliffe and Ricky Kreklow to carry a 45-33 lead into halftime.
The Tigers then turned up their defensive pressure to record 17 total steals and score 70 points in the final 20 minutes en route to the 41-point victory.
While he may have battled some early-game jitters in his first collegiate start, Phil Pressey, a freshman from Dallas, lit up the nets in the second frame, scoring 19 second-half tallies thanks to 3-of-5 shooting from three-point range and a perfect 6-of-6 shooting from the foul line.
His brother, junior college transfer Matt Pressey, overcame 2-of-8 field goal shooting to hit 11-of-13 free throws for 15 points.
Missouri opens regular season play on Thursday against Western Illinois at Mizzou Arena. The game is part of the 2010 Cancun Challenge. Game time at the Mizzou Arena is slated for 7 p.m.