Sophomore forward Jeremiah Tilmon scored 10 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as Missouri started strong and rolled to a 65-45 nonconference victory Tuesday over UT Arlington in Columbia, Mo.
Freshman guard Torrence Watson scored a game-high 12 points off the bench for the Tigers (5-3), while freshman guard Javon Pickett added 10 points. Watson scored in double figures for the first time, while Pickett reached double figures for the second consecutive game.
Missouri has now won consecutive games following a back-to-back defeats to Kansas State and Temple.
Missouri’s tight defense prevented anybody on the Mavericks from scoring in double figures. Junior forward Andres Ibarguen scored nine points for UT Arlington (3-6), which lost its fifth consecutive game after opening the season 3-1.
Junior guard Brian Warren and freshman guard Pedro Castro each scored eight points for UT Arlington, which shot 39.1 percent from the field (18-of-46), while shooting 27.8 percent (5-of-18) from 3-point range.
Tilmon was just 2-of-4 from the field but made all six of his free throws as he scored in double figures for the third straight game. Tilmon fouled out of the game with four minutes remaining.
Missouri not only utilized its size to its advantage on defense, it had a 35-27 rebounding advantage, while improving to 3-1 at home.
Missouri didn’t start distancing itself from the Mavericks until midway through the first half, then closed out the opening 20 minutes on an 11-4 run to take a 37-21 lead into the break. Sophomore forward Mitchell Smith made a 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer for his only three points of the game.
Missouri, which entered leading the SEC in 3-point shooting at 38.2 percent, was 9-of-25 (36 percent) from long range. Six players made 3-pointers for the Tigers, as Watson went 3-of-6.
It was the first meeting between Missouri and UT Arlington, with the Tigers improving to 9-1 all-time against Sun Belt Conference opponents.
UT Arlington has one more game remaining, Saturday against North Texas, before a Dec. 18 matchup with the current top-ranked team in the country, Gonzaga.
—Field Level Media