Ethan Illers, 23 Sports

Thursday, December 10—

Mizzou men’s basketball’s hot streak continued on Wednesday night as the Tigers squeaked by the Omaha Mavericks 85-78, improving their record at Mizzou Arena to a flawless 5-0.

Freshmen forward Kevin Puryear took charge for the Tigers. He scored 18 points and was able to haul in eight rebounds. Puryear shot an efficient 5 of 8 from the field and 7 of 8 from the free throw line in 25 minutes of action.

Terrence Phillips had a hot hand early on in the contest. He nailed his first three 3-point attempts for a grand total of nine in the first 20 minutes. He finish with 14 points before fouling out with 2:36 left to play in the game.

Mizzou shot an exceptional 50 percent from the field in the first half going into halftime with a 37-30 lead. They also held Omaha to just 33.3 percent shooting.

Although the Tigers showcased some sharp shooting in the first half, Mizzou did a poor job of holding on to the ball committing 13 turnovers, its most in a single half all season. The Mavericks took advantage of the sloppy play and scored 13 points off Mizzou turnovers.

A different story was told in the second half, however. Mizzou turned the ball over only five times, which led to only five Omaha points. Meanwhile, Omaha found itself on the flip side of the ball in the second half committing 10 turnovers, leading to 16 Tiger points.

Jake White led Omaha with 18 points, including 14 in the second half. He also grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds leading the team in both scoring and rebounding, respectively. He recorded his second double-double of the season.

The Tigers beat their opponents in the points-in-the-paint category as well as the rebounding category for the third consecutive contest. They outscored the Mavericks 32-20 in the paint and outrebounded them 37-34.

The bench also contributed mightily for Mizzou as Jakeenan Gant put up 11 points and grabbed five boards, while K.J. Walton contributed 10 points and shot a perfect three for three from the field.

The Tigers have won three straight games and will look to carry this momentum into their next game on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. at No. 13 Arizona.

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