Missouri beats Arkansas State 88-78

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) Namon Wright scored 14 points, including nine in the second half, helping Missouri defeat Arkansas State 88-78 on Tuesday night.

Arkansas State's Devin Carter led all scorers with 24 points on 8-of 14-shooting. Carter entered the game averaging 15.5 points per game.

Tramaine Isabell scored 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and K.J. Walton added 10 points and five rebounds as Missouri got 38 points from its bench.

The Tigers opened the game with a 13-0 run, holding Arkansas State scoreless for the first 6:06. Christian Davis put the Red Wolves on the board with a baseline jump shot, his only points of the game.

Missouri big men Ryan Rosburg and Kevin Puryear each scored 10 points, shooting a combined 9 of 16. Puryear added seven rebounds and Rosburg two. The Tigers (3-3) outscored the Red Wolves (2-5) 44-26 in the paint and won the rebound margin 43-39.

Arkansas State guards Donte Thomas and Sean Gardner combined for 26 second-half points and spurred a run to help cut a 25-point deficit to four with 4:54 to play. Thomas finished with 18 points and seven rebounds and Gardner had 17 points and four rebounds.

Clutch free-throw shooting helped the Tigers stifle any comeback attempt, as Missouri made 9 of 9 free throws in the final five minutes. Wright scored six of his nine second-half points in a 15-second sequence following the Red Wolves' big run. He was fouled on a made 3-pointer and completed the four-point play before a steal by Terrence Phillips set up a breakaway layup. Phillips finished with eight points and seven assists.

TIP-INS

Missouri: Freshmen have accounted nearly half of Missouri's scoring this season. Phillips, Puryear, Walton and Cullen VanLeer have combined to score 205 of the Tigers' 414 points (49.5 percent). … The Tigers are now 8-1 all-time against members of the Sun Belt Conference, with their only loss coming in 1974 against South Alabama, 74-64.

Arkansas State: This game completes a three-game road trip for the Red Wolves, who lost 94-72 to No. 21 Baylor last Friday and 91-68 to No. 15 Oregon last Wednesday. … An Arkansas State player has scored 20 or more points in five consecutive games. … Forward Anthony Livingston is averaging 9.8 rebounds per game, and is on pace to become the 24th player in Division-I history with at least career 500 rebounds by the end of the season.

UP NEXT

Arkansas State hosts North Dakota State Saturday.

Missouri hosts Northern Illinois Friday.