Mark Smith scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Dru Smith added 11 points, nine rebounds and five assists to lift Missouri to a 70-52 victory against Morehead State in a Hall of Fame Classic game in Columbia, Mo., on Wednesday night.
Javon Pickett chipped in nine points for Missouri (4-1).
The Eagles took their first loss of the season, failing in their bid for the squad’s first 5-0 start since 1964-65.
Morehead State drew to within eight points with 6:35 to go but could get no closer. The Eagles forced 17 Missouri turnovers, as the Tigers were whistled for three offensive fouls in four possessions during one second-half stretch.
Jordan Walker led Morehead State with 14 points. Tyzhaun Claude notched 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Justin Thomas had nine points and four steals.
After seizing control behind first-half runs of 19-3, 18-2, 18-2 and 22-4 en route to victories in their first four games, the Eagles compiled a 17-5 run Wednesday. Trouble was, the spurt merely put them ahead by one with 7:57 remaining before halftime, as Missouri had surged to a 14-3 advantage in the game’s first 5:07.
Mark Smith drilled consecutive 3-pointers for the Tigers to open the game, but Missouri missed its next 12 shots from long range. The Tigers took a 36-29 lead into the break despite shooting 37.1 percent in the first 20 minutes, outrebounding the Eagles by eight while spreading the ball to nine different scorers.
An 11-4 run to start the second half vaulted Missouri to a 14-point cushion. The Tigers shot 45.5 percent after halftime and were 40.4 percent from the field for the game compared to 38 percent for the Eagles.
Missouri improved to 3-0 all-time against Morehead State, with each meeting coming in Columbia. The Tigers are 33-2 in program history against Ohio Valley Conference foes.
—Field Level Media