Missouri overcomes slow start, beats Tenn. St.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Stefan Jankovic scored all 14 of his points in the second half, helping No. 12 Missouri overcome a sloppy first half en route to a 68-38 victory over Tennessee State on Saturday.
Laurence Bowers had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Alex Oriakhi added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Missouri (8-1), which defeated its second consecutive Ohio Valley Conference team following a 81-65 win Tuesday over Southeast Missouri State.
Robert Covington scored 12 points and Jordan Cyphers added 11 points for Tennessee State (4-6), which entered the matchup having won three consecutive games.
Both teams failed to make a basket for several-minute stretches in the first half, combining for 18 turnovers and 34.6 percent shooting from the field.
But Missouri regrouped during the break and went on a 14-3 run to start the second half.
Phil Pressey’s 3-pointer and Negus Webster-Chan’s fast-break layup within a 20-second stretch gave Missouri a 32-22 lead with 15:16 remaining.
Missouri led by at least nine the rest of the way, gradually extending its lead following an M.J. Rhett free throw that cut the deficit to 32-23 with 15:07 left.
But after making four of its first six shots from the field, Tennessee State made only 11 of its next 57 attempts.
The Tigers, who were picked to finish second in the conference’s East Division, have played eight of their first 10 games on the road.
Bowers and Oriakhi combined for all of Missouri’s 23 points in the first half except for an Earnest Ross free throw with 4:01 remaining.
The Tigers endured stretches of 5:54 and 4:49 without scoring a basket in the first half and turned the ball over 11 times, yet managed to shoot 40 percent from the field to take a three-point lead at halftime.
Tennessee State scored 10 points off turnovers in the first half, but also struggled with poor shooting.
Missouri outrebounded Tennessee State 52-27 for the game and made 15 of 19 free throws. Tennessee State only attempted five, all in the second half, and made two.
Missouri extended its home winning streak against nonconference opponents to 71 games dating to the 2005-06 opener.