LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Jack Gibbs scored 25 points and Peyton Aldridge added 21 points and seven rebounds to help lift Davidson to 70-55 win over Missouri in a losers' bracket game of the Tire Pros Invitational on Friday.
The Wildcats (2-1) bounced back from a deflating loss to Clemson on Thursday with an overwhelming performance against Missouri. Sparked by its 3-point shooting, Davidson jumped out to a 17-point lead early in the first half and never looked back.
“This is a challenging tournament and we accepted the opportunity to come here because we wanted to be pushed, we wanted to be challenged, we wanted to find out how good we are,” said Davidson coach Bob McKillop. “Certainly these two games, Clemson and Missouri, exposed our strengths, exposed our weaknesses and gave us the opportunity to get better.”
Missouri, coming off an overtime loss to No. 11 Xavier a day earlier, made runs late in the first and second halves but could not find an offensive flow to keep up with Davidson.
Davidson converted 44 percent from the field and 10 of 30 3-point attempts. Missouri made just 3 of 16 3-pointers.
Forward Kevin Puryear led the Tigers with 12 points and six rebounds while Cullen VanLeer added 11 points and Reed Nikko came off the bench to contribute 10 points.
The Wildcats set the tone early by hitting five of their first eight 3-point attempts to take a 26-9 lead in the opening eight minutes. Four different Davidson players drained 3-pointers (Gibbs had two) during that run.
Missouri (1-2) pulled within seven points of the lead late in the first half. But Davidson put together a 9-0 run as the Tigers went scoreless the final 4:30 of the half and went into halftime trailing 37-23.
“We harped on defensive intensity last night and this morning because we didn't play well defensively as a team or individually,” Gibbs said. “As a unit we were in position better than we were against Clemson. That was one of the main things because if they're making shots, it's tough to get our offense going when you have to grab it off the rim. That makes our offense go.”
Davidson: The Wildcats are streaky shooters, but when on they can put up a lot of points in a hurry. They hit six of their first eight 3-point attempts to jump out to a 17-point lead in the first eight minutes and never looked back. Gibbs was outstanding throughout much of the game, as was Aldridge. The score could have been even more lopsided had the Wildcats not had long stretches where either they couldn't score or they were careless with the ball.
Missouri: After losing to Xavier by one point in overtime Thursday, the Tigers came out flat against Davidson and never recovered. Leading scorer Frankie Hughes was silent much of the game, going 1 for 11 for two points and three turnovers. Sophomore guard Terrence Phillips, who played brilliantly in the loss to Xavier, didn't have a field goal and finished with one point.
Missouri: The Tigers will meet the loser of the Arizona State-Tulane game in the seventh-place game of the Invitational on Sunday.
Davidson: The Wildcats will take on the winner of the Arizona State-Tulane game in the fifth-place game of the Tire Pros Invitational on Sunday.