Mizzou Basketball Opens Martin Era with Dominating Win Over Iowa State

Dalton Hackett, 23 Sports

The Missouri Tigers men’s basketball team was victorious in their home opener against former Big 12 mates, the Iowa State Cyclones 74-59, marking the first win for first year head coach Cuonzo Martin. The game took place Friday night at the Mizzou Arena, its first sellout in four years. The Tigers managed to pull off a double-digit win without the famed number 1 recruit, Michael Porter Jr., who only played two minutes before sitting out the rest with a leg injury.

Mizzou started out the game with tremendous defense, playing aggressively and staying in front of Iowa State on every play and holding them to a mere 39.3 percent shooting. The Tigers were getting a hand in the face of almost every shot, leading to four blocks for the Tigers. They were also aggressive on the boards, hauling in 38 rebounds.

On the offensive end, they played with the same aggressive demeanor but struggled early, turning over the ball 10 times in the first half as well as jacking up some unnecessary shots. They eventually settled in and they played a great inside-outside game. Jerimiah Timon drew double teams all night and still managed to put up 14 points. The attention he drew under the basket allowed several Tigers to hit wide open threes. On the Iowa State side, they were unable to get any consistent scoring, sometimes going minutes at a time without finding the basket. Both teams struggled with fouls, combining  for 31 total in the game.

The Top Tigers tonight were not the Porter Brothers, but a mix of veteran and freshman faces. Jordan Barnett, Jeremiah Tilmon, and Kevin Puryear led the Tigers in the victory. Senior Jordan Barnett (St. Louis, MO.), last year leading scorer for the Tigers (12.2 PPG), put up an all-around game with 15 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists. Freshman center Jerimiah Tilmon (East St. Louis, Ill), who has not been talked about with the hype around other freshman’s Michael and Jontay Porter, went on to play like a seasoned veteran putting up 14 points on 7-of-9 shooting while pulling down seven rebounds. However, the MVP of the night was Junior forward Kevin Puryear (Blue Springs, MO) who led the team in points and rebounds. Off the bench he put up 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting and 2-2 from three and pulled in eight rebounds. He also was aggressive on the defensive end as had a career high a game high three steals on the night.

On the night honoring the legendary coach Norm Stewart; the Tigers showed that they are deep and aggressive on both sides of the ball even after the injury of Porter Jr. The status on Porter is that he tweaked his left hip in warmups and sat out as a “precaution”. The Tigers will against Wagner Monday night at 8 P.M. CT at Mizzou Arena