Joseph Ward, 23 Sports

Wednesday, December 30—

The Missouri Tigers men’s basketball improved to 6-6 in a rout of Arkansas Pine-Bluff (2-12) at Mizzou Arena.

The Tigers got off to a strong start in the first half outscoring the Lions 39-12. They completed the game with a 39-13 second half for a final 53-point victory. Freshman forward Kevin Puryear led the Tigers offensively collecting 13 points on 44 percent shooting.

Puryear connected on 4 of 9 field goal attempts along with five free throws to record his ninth double-digit game this season. He also contributed one block, two turnovers and a season high eight rebounds.

Junior guard Wes Clark added 11 points shooting 3-for-5 from behind the arc. Sophomore forward Jakeenan Gant proved to be an asset on both ends of the floor with four offensive and seven defensive rebounds for a career high 11 rebounds.

Coming off a close 68-63 loss to Illinois in the “Braggin’ Rights Game” last week, the Tigers turned momentum around against Arkansas Pine-Bluff.

Missouri brought it offensively early scoring 16 points from the free throw line alone. The Tigers did not stop there and continued the half with 21 consecutive points led by Clark’s shooting. This led Mizzou to its largest lead of the season going into halftime 39-12.

A Puryear-led 18-1 run in the second half increased the Tiger lead and ultimately put the game to bed. With six different Tigers contributing to the run, the team could not be stopped and ended the half with a 39-13 point difference.

Mizzou will end non-conference play on Saturday, as it hosts the Savannah State Tigers at 2 p.m.

Photo courtesy of espn.go.com.