Mizzou basketball avoids scare against Elon

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By David Rothchild, 23 Sports

Thursday, Dec. 11 –

After a brutal beat down in Norman last Friday, the Missouri Tigers picked up a much needed win Thursday night at Mizzou Arena.

Despite blowing a 19-point half time lead, the Tigers held on for a 78-73 victory over the Elon Phoenix. Sophomore Jonathan Williams III and senior Keith Shamburger lead the way for Mizzou with 16 points apiece.

Missouri caught fire early on, as the Tigers started shooting 13 of 22 from the field and were aided by six 3-pointers. This was only the third time all year Mizzou had led at the half, thanks in part to nine Tigers contributing points.

Despite facing an Elon team who came in averaging 114 points in its last two contests, Missouri frustrated the potent offense by holding the Phoenix to a lowly 35.8% from the field.

The Tigers headed to the locker room with a commanding 46-27 lead, the team’s largest of the season.

Coming out of the break, Elon bounce back from its abysmal first half performance. Behind the steady hand of guard Luke Eddy, the Phoenix were able to chip away at the Mizzou lead.

Though Eddy came in off the bench, the true freshman scored 27 points for Elon, charging the furious second half comeback.

To cap off an 11-0 run in the closing minutes of the game, Eddy drained his third 3-pointer to pull the Phoenix within one of the Tigers.

However, a miracle in the making was not to be for Elon. On a night where Missouri would shoot 24-30 at the line, two free throws would finish the job for Mizzou.

In the final 30 seconds, Shamburger made two trips to the line, as he would sink all four of his free throws. Montaque Gill-Caesar added two charity shots of his own, sealing the victory for the Tigers.

Mizzou next hosts the 7-2 Xavier Musketeers in their next contest Saturday at 4 p.m. CT.