University of Missouri

Missouri overcomes slow start and beats Miami, Ohio 70-51

Mizzou coach Cuonzo Martin wants his players to do better

University of Missouri basketball coach Cuonzo Martin talked about his team’s victory against Miami (Ohio) during a press conference after the game Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017.
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University of Missouri basketball coach Cuonzo Martin talked about his team’s victory against Miami (Ohio) during a press conference after the game Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017.

Running the fast break, Missouri point guard Jordan Geist found a streaking Kevin Puryear for a layup off a bounce pass.

Several minutes later, Geist connected with freshman Jeremiah Tilmon for a dunk.

Geist’s strong play running the point was one of the few highlights for Missouri’s floor generals in Tuesday’s 70-51 win over Miami, Ohio. The Tigers overcame a sloppy start filled with turnovers and bad decisions in their second straight win.

Freshman point guard Blake Harris started for the fifth straight game, yet played sparingly in the first half. He logged only 6 minutes before halftime. Geist and Terrence Phillips played a combined 23 minutes as the point-guard position continues to be a game of musical chairs for Cuonzo Martin’s squad.

Missouri allowed the Redhawks to keep pace throughout the first half as the Tigers were hindered by turnovers and sloppy passing. Graduate transfer Kassius Robertson knocked the ball out of bounds early on after losing control of his dribble, while senior Jordan Barnett threw a pass a few plays later to Tilmon, who had a pair of defenders on him and easily turned the ball over.

Missouri committed 17 turnovers over the course of the game, six of which came in a 3-minute span.

“Most of our turnovers were careless,” Puryear said. “I think we were rushing a bit too much.”

The Tigers' Kevin Puryear and Kassius Robertson talk after Missouri’s 70-51 win Tuesday over Miami, Ohio.

Barnett and Robinson hit back-to-back threes late in the first half, sparking a 14-0 Missouri run as the Tigers finally pulled away from Miami. Barnett fell into the courtside chairs behind him on the fadeaway three, which was one of four he hit in the first half.

In the second half, Geist found Tilmon for another dunk to extend Missouri’s lead to 44-26. Geist had a team-high four assists.

While Missouri’s offense has been balanced since Michael Porter Jr. underwent back surgery, the Tigers struggled to get a lot of players involved Tuesday. Barnett, Tilmon, Puryear and Robertson combined to score all of Missouri’s first 40 points. Jontay Porter’s jump-shot with 16:25 left in the game broke that trend.

Harris saw extended time in the second half and showed flashes of what made him a top-100 recruit out of high school. He threw passes the length of the court, forced turnovers and was a pest on defense. He finished with four points, four rebounds and three assists.

“He made a great move off the one where he did a little step back,” Robertson said of Harris. “Kind of read the play. He’s working on it.”

Tilmon had another game in which foul trouble wasn’t an issue, after he struggled to stay on the floor early in the season. Puryear said Martin has Tilmon practice as if he already has three fouls and thinks it’s made a difference.

Martin also said it’s taken away a little muscle from Tilmon’s game.

“Though he’s not fouling, he’s not as aggressive,” Martin said. “It’s a very fine line. I didn’t think he was very assertive at all.”

Michael Porter Jr. was on Missouri’s bench for the game, the first time he’s been seen at a game since the team’s season-opener against Iowa State.

Puryear led Missouri with 20 points and was one of four Tigers in double-figures. Robertson added 17 points, while Barnett had 15 points and eight rebounds.

Miami junior guard Darrian Ringo led the Redhawks with 14 points in the loss.

The Tigers started slowly in their 70-51 win over Miami, Ohio.

Alex Schiffer: 816-234-4064, @TheSchiffMan

MISSOURI 70, MIAMI, OHIO 51

Miami

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Brown

30

3-7

0-0

5

0

2

6

McLane

28

2-10

0-2

3

0

2

4

Adaway

34

5-10

2-4

5

0

0

13

Ringo

36

5-11

2-2

5

5

2

14

Sibande

30

4-13

0-0

4

0

4

9

Wright

16

1-4

0-0

1

0

0

3

Mills

10

1-4

0-0

2

1

0

2

Bowman

7

0-3

0-0

2

0

1

0

Ayah

5

0-1

0-0

0

0

1

0

Coleman-Lands

4

0-2

0-0

0

0

1

0

Totals

200

21-65

4-8

27

6

13

51

Percentages: FG .323, FT .500. Three-point goals: 5-24, .208 (Ringo 2-5, Adaway 1-3, Wright 1-4, Sibande 1-5, Bowman 0-1, Mills 0-2, McLane 0-4). Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 1 (Brown). Turnovers: 10 (Ringo 6, Bowman, Brown, McLane, Wright). Steals: 7 (McLane 3, Sibande 2, Bowman, Ringo). Technical fouls: none. Fouled out: none.

Missouri

Min

FG-A

FT-A

R

A

F

Pt

Barnett

31

5-11

0-0

8

1

0

15

Puryear

30

6-8

6-6

5

1

1

20

Tilmon

25

6-11

0-0

6

0

1

12

Harris

17

2-4

0-2

4

3

2

4

Robertson

38

5-9

4-4

1

3

0

17

J.Porter

19

1-3

0-2

8

2

1

2

Geist

16

0-0

0-0

3

4

3

0

VanLeer

14

0-1

0-0

0

1

3

0

Phillips

7

0-0

0-0

1

1

1

0

Nikko

3

0-0

0-0

1

1

0

0

Totals

200

25-47

10-14

37

17

12

70

Percentages: FG .532, FT .714. Three-point goals: 10-23, .435 (Barnett 5-9, Robertson 3-7, Puryear 2-3, Harris 0-1, VanLeer 0-1, J.Porter 0-2). Team rebounds: 1. Blocked shots: 6 (J.Porter 2, Robertson 2, Puryear, Tilmon). Turnovers: 17 (Robertson 5, Harris 4, J.Porter 4, Barnett 2, Phillips 2). Steals: 5 (VanLeer 2, Harris, J.Porter, Robertson). Technical fouls: None. Fouled out: none.

Half: Missouri 36-24. Att: 15,061.

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