by University of Missouri
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Mizzou Men’s Basketball (5-3) used a big second half and dominance inside to cruise to an 81-55 victory over Miami (Ohio) on Tuesday evening at Mizzou Arena. After holding a one-point lead at halftime, the Tigers came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, outscoring the RedHawks (4-4) by a 55-30 margin, and coasting to victory.
Sophomore forward Kevin Puryear (Blue Springs, Mo.) led the team in scoring with 19 points (7-of-13 FG, 0-of-1 3PT, 5-of-8 FT). He got the team started on offense in the first half, putting up seven points on 3-of-7 shooting. He followed the impressive start with a strong second half, adding 12 more points and grabbing four additional rebounds to finish with a total of eight for the game.
Senior forward Russell Woods (Chicago, Ill.) recorded his first career double-double, scoring a career-high 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Woods scored all 15 of his points in the second half, connecting on 7-of-8 shots from the free throw line. It was his third career game scoring in double digits, while he matched his career high in rebounds.
Points in the paint were a major key to victory for the Tigers, with Mizzou outscoring the RedHawks 32-20. Puryear led the team with eight of his 19 points coming inside.
The Tigers started the first half strong. After giving up the first bucket of the game, they went on a 16-0 run to get an early double-digit lead. The RedHawks clawed back into it, chipping away and eventually taking the lead with 1:58 remaining in the first period. Sophomore guard Terrence Phillips (Orange County, Calif.) swung the game back in the Tigers’ favor, hitting a three-pointer with 13 seconds remaining in the half to give the Tigers a 26-25 lead heading into the break.
Freshman guard Frankie Hughes (Cleveland, Ohio) started the second half with a four-point play, as the Tiger freshman drained a three-pointer from the left corner through a foul, then converted the free throw attempt. The four-point play ignited an 18-2 run for the Tigers that put the game out of reach, leading Mizzou to its fifth win of the season.
Mizzou continues its home stand with its fifth consecutive home game against No. 20 Arizona on Saturday, Dec. 10, at Mizzou Arena. Tipoff is set for 11 a.m. CT and can be seen live on ESPN2.