Mizzou Men’s Basketball claimed its sixth straight win and improved to 9-3 on the season, defeating Morehead State 75-61 on Saturday afternoon at Mizzou Arena.
Mizzou sophomore guard Mark Smith, the SEC’s best three-point shooter this season (46.4 percent), propelled Mizzou to a commanding lead in the early going by sinking four of his first five 3-point attempts. On his way to a career-high 22 points, Smith totaled 16 first-half points and was instrumental during Mizzou’s dominant opening period that saw the Tigers lead by nearly 30 only 14 minutes into the ballgame.
Morehead State battled back into game during the second half, pulling within single digits, but the Mizzou offense once again found life during the final five minutes to seal the win.
With the victory, Mizzou has completed a perfect month of December, its first since 2011-12 and just its third of the century. Mizzou’s six game winning streak is the program’s longest during the Cuonzo Martin era and the program’s longest since the 2013-14 season.
After a Morehead State basket to open the ballgame, Mizzou took complete control of the contest. After Jeremiah Tilmon put the Tigers on the board with a bucket inside, Smith caught fire. The Mizzou sharpshooter sank back-to-back threes before converting a layup, capping a personal 8-0 run that allowed the Tigers to pull away early on.
Two minutes later, freshman guard Xavier Pinson slipped a crafty pass to sophomore K.J. Santos who scored his first points of his Mizzou career. The conversion was Santos’ first collegiate bucket since March 22, 2017 and gave Mizzou a 15-2 lead with 15:42 left in the half.
The Tigers continued to pull away from the visiting Eagles, assembling a 35-7 advantage after 13 minutes of play. A triple from senior Jordan Geist gave the Tigers a 28-point lead with 7:35 left before the break. Smith led all scorers with 16 points at the half while Mizzou held a commanding 45-22 lead heading to the locker room.
- Smith finished the ballgame with a career-high 22 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field and a 4-of-9 mark from distance. The sophomore also hauled in seven rebounds and dished a pair of assists. Smith has now converted a three-pointer in every game this season.
- Geist made his presence felt offensively down the stretch of the Mizzou win, finishing with 20 points and a 4-of-8 clip from three. Geist’s 20-point performance is his second straight and the senior has now scored 20+ points in consecutive contests twice this season. Geist also grabbed five boards and matched a career-high with three thefts in the victory.
- Senior forward Kevin Puryear dropped in 12 points while hauling in a team-high eight rebounds.