It was a struggle, but Mizzou got by Emporia State 67-62 at Mizzou Arena on Monday night. Kevin Puryear and Jeremiah Tilmon each had 13 points in the win. Jontay Porter added 11 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks off the bench. Michael Porter Jr. missed his third straight game with a leg injury. According to media reports, Porter Jr flew out of the Columbia airport on Monday afternoon to see a specialist for his injury which has been described as a leg or hip injury.
In Monday’s win and last Thursday’s loss at Utah, the Tigers are just 7-of-47 (15%) from three-point range.
Emporia State led 39-32 in the second half, before the Tigers were able to mount a comeback. One player who needs to see more of the floor is freshman Blake Harris. Running the point, he and Reed Nikko helped spark the Tigers after falling behind seven. Harris set Tilmon up on a beautiful no-look pass and dunk to put the Tigers on top for good at 43-41. Harris later found Porter inside to give Missouri a five-point lead. Nikko scored eight points and four rebounds in 10 minutes.
Mizzou was able to use their size to their advantage the whole night out-rebounding Emporia State 47-33, including 24 on the offensive glass. Don’t let that high number rebounds fool you, the Tigers missed several up close opportunities inside, shooting under 40% for the entire game. The Tigers also turned the ball over 17 times.
“We’ve been fighting adversity lately. Now it’s time for us to buckle down and come together,” said Puryear. “This is the most important time for us to come together as a team.”
Mizzou is 4-and-1 overall and 3-and-0 at home. The Tigers will take on Long Beach State in the Advocare Invitational Thursday in Orlando.