Men’s basketball impresses in win over Oral Roberts

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By Morgan Magid, 23 Sports

Wednesday, Nov. 19-

Thanks to a huge offensive explosion, the Missouri men’s basketball team labored to a 78-64 victory over the Oral Roberts Golden Eagles. The Tigers improved to a 2-1 record on the season.

Two players turned it on tonight for Mizzou. Freshman Teki Gill-Caeser contributed 19 points and sophomore Wes Clark had 14 points and nine assists.

Despite these numbers, the scoring was fairly distributed in the first half. Unfortunately, the Tigers had their struggles that allowed ORU to lead the entire first half aside from the first two minutes.

Early in the first half, junior Ryan Rosburg went up for a defensive rebound and took a very hard fall. This let senior Keanu Post play significant minutes in the first half.

One of the best plays in the first half came at 8:57 with a nice pick and roll from Rosburg and Clark. As Rosburg set the screen, Clark split the two defenders and pulled off the tough finish to pull the Tigers within one.

With 8:01 left, redshirt freshman Darian Harris hit a trey to put the Golden Eagles up 36-28. This epitomized the defensive woes that plagued Mizzou in the first half, who were unable to halt Oral Roberts.

In fact, ORU junior Obi Emegano finished the game with 30 points for the Golden Eagles, despite him missing over much of the first half due to foul trouble. He was 8/14 from the field and 12/15 from the free throw line.

After almost five minutes of stagnant offense, redshirt senior Keith Shamburger hit both ends of a one-and-one and Gill-Caesar hit his third three of the night to pull the Tigers within three at the 2:06 mark in the first half.

Missouri then tied the game at 38-38 with 12 seconds left thanks to a beautiful reverse lay up by freshman Namon Wright off a Shamburger assist. However, Mizzou went into the locker room down 40-38.

In the second half, it was Clark that sparked Mizzou’s comeback. From the get-go, Clark dropped six points including a three pointer and a huge and-one to put the Tigers in the lead for the first time since the 19 minute mark in the first half.

A majority of the second half was spent trading baskets as the two teams struggled to create any sort of substantial lead.

Jonathan Williams III helped the Tigers pull away with 5:38 left in the game by going 1-2 from the line after being fouled grabbing a tough rebound while the Golden Eagles were in the double bonus. This put Mizzou up five.

Junior Duece Bello then rained a three from the corner with less than three minutes left to put the Tigers up, 73-62. Next, Clark forced a turnover at 2:17, which led to a loose ball foul to send Shamburger to the line.

The powerful offensive output, including eight 3-pointers in the second half, cemented Clark, Gill-Caesar, and Williams III as Mizzou’s key scorers so far this season. The three combined for 43 points.

Next on the Tigers’ schedule is No. 2 Arizona in the Maui Invitational Tournament on Nov. 24 at 4 p.m.