Missouri basketball escapes Western Kentucky

Missouri basketball escapes Western Kentucky

Photo by Logan Ball

Nathalie Jones, 23 Sports

Saturday, December 3—

Missouri men’s basketball was looking for redemption Saturday after their embarrassing loss to North Carolina Central. Mizzou displayed excellent rebounding and made key defensive stops, however, the biggest story is that the Tigers improved their shooting percentages (to an extent) against Western Kentucky, as Mizzou took home the victory 59-56.

The first half was a lot of back-and-forth between the Tigers and the Hilltoppers. It took Missouri three minutes to finally get a shot, however, once they did they were able to keep up with Western Kentucky. The Tigers were down 15-14, when freshman guard Frankie Hughes scored 14 of the next 16 points to bring Mizzou ahead at the half.

Coming out of halftime, Missouri seemed lethargic, but they kicked it into gear when Hughes lit a fire underneath them through his shooting performance. Rebounding and defense, along with Hughes, saved the day for the Tigers, as they were able to defeat Western Kentucky.

Hughes stole the show as he led the team in points with 18. He went into beast mode exactly when the Tigers needed him, slamming home three absolutely vicious dunks as well as three 3-pointers. Hughes was also able to perform from the line for Missouri, as he was 5-for-6.

The rebounding and defensive game, however, was also a key to the Tigers’ victory. Sophomore Terrence Phillips led his team with eight rebounds for Missouri. The defense was on fire as well, as they forced 15 turnovers with 10 steals. Sophomore guard Cullen Vanleer recorded three of them.

Mizzou continues their home stand as they face off against Miami (Ohio) on Tuesday, Dec. 6, at Mizzou Arena.