Mizzou basketball opened the 2018-19 season with a 68-55 win over the Central Arkansas Bears on Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena.
Newly eligible Illinois transfer Mark Smith led the Tigers with 19 points and 10 rebounds, a career high on the glass. Sophomore power forward Jeremiah Tilmon added 16 points as Mizzou maintained a comfortable lead throughout the contest.
Smith ignited the Mizzou offense with back-to-back three’s early in the first half that translated into energy on the defensive end, holding the Bears scoreless for nearly nine minutes, building a quick 18-5 lead.
Mizzou is now 2-0 against Central Arkansas, a member of the Southland Conference, with their last meeting in 2010 in a 116-63 Tiger victory. The Tigers are now 91-22 all-time in home openers.
Belleville East standout Javon Pickett made the starting lineup in his first game as a Tiger finishing with seven points in 25 minutes of action. Freshman guard and former Whitfield High School standout, Torrence Watson, added five points in the win.
Mizzou heads to the Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa, Friday to battle the Iowa State Cyclones in their first true test of the year. The Tigers look to have repeat success versus their former Big 12 foe as they opened the 2017-18 season with a 74-59 victory.