The Missouri basketball team appeared to be on its way to an 0-2 start. They trailed Northwestern St. (La.) by as many as 12 points in the first half and by as many as nine in the second half, but surged over the final 20 minutes to beat the Demons 81-72 at Mizzou Arena.
Senior center Kevin Young had a career night, scoring 17 points and pulling down 13 rebounds—nine of those boards were on the offensive glass. Young also blocked three shots.
Thomas Gardner was the leading scorer with 25 and Jimmy McKinney added 15, scoring all of his points in the second half.
Missouri’s first half woes could be attributed, in large part, to their inability to hold on to the ball. The Tigers gave away 14 turnovers in the first half, but righted the ship in the second half with just four turnovers. Point guard Jason Horton played 38 minutes and recorded nine assists with seven points and three rebounds. He had just two turnovers.
Northwestern St., which is located in Natchitoches, La., stayed with the Tigers, despite a rough trip. The budget for athletics has been slashed, along with just about every other budget in the hurricane-ravaged state. The team learned that it would be about $300 per person cheaper to take the train instead of flying, so they took the rail instead of the air. Their train was supposed to leave at around 9PM on Friday, but didn’t depart until the next morning at 4AM, so the team slept on the floor of the train station.