The Missouri Tigers opened the men’s basketball with a 55-point victory, handing Alabama A & M a 99-44 loss on Sunday evening at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers were led by freshman guard Frankie Hughes who scored 23 points on 9-14 field goal shooting, including 16 in the second half. Hughes’ 23-points matched the Mizzou program record for points by a freshman in a season opener, tying all-time Tiger great Steve Stipanovich’s 23 points he scored vs. Southwest Texas State in 1979.
Hughes was 4-of-5 from three in the second half and was joined in double figures by fellow freshman and former high school teammate Willie Jackson who had 11 points and nine rebounds, Senior forward Russel Woods scored a career-high 12 points.
The Tigers got off to a fast start, much better than when their nerves got them in their preseason win over Central Missouri nine days earlier. The Tigers defense held A & M to 23% shooting in the first half while jumping out to a 24-4 lead.
The Tigers continue at the 2016 Tire Pros Invitational, hosted at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. Mizzou starts action on Thursday, Nov. 17, with a Noon CT tipoff vs. Xavier on ESPNU.