Basketball is a game of two halves and in each of the Tigers first two games, their second half performance was stronger. Taking on the Nicholls State Colonels tonight, Missouri’s second half was again better than the first but the gap was closed and they were in control from start to finish. The end result was a 74-54 Tigers victory as they moved to 3-0 on the season.
Alex Oriakhi continued his early season progression and led the Tigers in both points (17) and rebounds (10). It was his second straight double-double and he now has 35 rebounds on the season. Earnest Ross, Keion Bell and Laurence Bowers combined to pour in 41 points while Phil Pressey, surprisingly, was held to just 6 points and was the only Tigers starter that didn’t score in double digits. Coach Haith leaned much more heavily on his starting five this time around and the bench didn’t do much (10 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 0 steals and 0 blocks) with their limited time on the floor.
In both of Nicholls State’s games, senior guard Fred Hunter has topped 20 points and led the Colonels in scoring. This time around he was 7-11 from the floor and finished with 22 points. Freshman T.J. Carpenter added 14 including three of the team’s five 3-point makes.
Nicholls State, now 0-2 on the year, will have to wait 10 days to take the court again in search of their first victory of the season. On November 26th they will host the New Orleans Privateers in a game that should be much more their speed after running up against Vanderbilt and Missouri.
Thanksgiving Day (12:00 pm CT) in the Bahamas the Tigers will tangle with Stanford in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament. They will also have games on the 23rd and 24th with their opponents to be determined as the bracket plays itself out. No matter what happens or who Missouri gets matched up with, we will finally get to see how they perform against some upper echelon teams from some power conferences.