The Missouri Tigers used a tenacious defense to run away from Stetson with a 66-45 win. Mizzou, playing their third game in three days, looked a little sluggish in the first half and fell behind 27-25 at halftime. The Tigers defense forced 11 turnovers in the first stanza, but had trouble holding onto the ball matching the Hatters with 11 turnovers of their own. Kalen Grimes had 12 points to lead the way before the half.
After an intense halftime speech from head coach Mike Anderson, who threatened a Monday practice, the Tigers took better care of the basketball and distanced themselves from the Hatters. Grimes was held to just two points in the second half, but Matt Lawrence picked up the scoring load with 11 second-half points to finish with 13 including 3-for-7 from 3-point range.
Mizzou’s pressure defense was the story all night. Stetson – made up of all freshman and sophomores – wore down late in the game and shot 25-percent from the field in the second half. The Tigers, on the other hand, were finally able to get inside the paint and make some easy baskets. The deficit at halftime was exponentially flipped as Missouri outscored Stetson 41-18 in the second-half.
Grimes recorded his second consecutive double-double (14 points, 11 boards), the first two of his career. He was also named the John Thompson Foundation Classic MVP. Matt Lawrence and Stefhon Hannah were named to the All-Tournament team.
Missouri is off until Thursday when they host Lipscomb at 7 p.m.
Related web sites:
Mizzou Official Website