Missouri rolls past Alabama A&M 99-44 in season opener
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri guard Frankie Hughes will likely never forget his first game in a Tiger uniform.
Hughes had 23 points, tying Steve Stipanovich’s Missouri record for the highest scoring total by a freshman in a debut, as the Tigers beat Alabama A&M 99-44 on Sunday night.
Hughes had 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the second half and hit 9 of 14 field goals overall. He said he was unaware of his record-tying performance.
"I was just playing my game, just trying to get a win," Hughes said. "It was more of a mindset and mentality that I have to have, confidence that I have to have in myself, just knowing I’m able to knock down shots."
Willie Jackson had 11 points and nine rebounds in his college debut, and Russell Woods added 12 points.
"He’s an energy guy," Missouri coach Kim Anderson said in describing Jackson. "He’s starting to get more comfortable. When that ball goes up on the board…he goes and gets it. It doesn’t matter who he’s playing against."
Woods, who spent two years at John A. Logan college in Chicago, views last season as a learning experience.
"I had to get adjusted," Woods said. "I came into this year with a mindset like, `I have to work harder than everyone’ so this offseason I tried to put in a lot of work, and it’s just paying off."
De’Ederick Petty led the Bulldogs with 13 points.
The Bulldogs (0-2) missed their first 12 shots as Missouri jumped to an 11-2 lead. By halftime, the Tigers led 49-20 as Alabama A&M shot 8 for 35 in the half.
Missouri (1-0) hit 8 of 16 from 3-point range and outrebounded the Bulldogs 43-29. The Tigers scored 48 points in the paint and took advantage of nearly every AAMU miscue, scoring 25 points off 15 Bulldog turnovers.
Alabama A&M center Quinterian McConico had only three points and five rebounds, shooting 1-for-9 from the field. He had 14 points and eight rebounds in the Bulldogs’ 96-62 loss to Missouri State Friday.
Missouri forward Jordan Barnett, who transferred from Texas last season, will be eligible to play Dec. 17 when the Tigers host Eastern Michigan. Barnett graduated from Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis, leading the team to the 2014 state championship in Mizzou Arena.
The Tigers scored more points against the Bulldogs than they have since Dec. 17, 2012 when they defeated South Carolina State 102-51. Starters Kevin Puryear and Terrence Phillips saw limited action in light of the deficit. Puryear had seven points and nine rebounds in just 15 minutes, and Phillips added seven points, five assists and three rebounds in 17 minutes.
Alabama A&M visits Tennessee Tech Thursday in the first ever meeting between the schools.
Missouri travels to Orlando to face No. 7 Xavier in the Tire Pros Invitational at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. The Musketeers defeated the Tigers 78-66 last season in Cincinnati.