Cullen VanLeer averaged only 4.0 points per game and shot 27.3 percent from three-point range last season, but the Missouri sophomore guard flashed a different gear Tuesday in Italy.
Playing in the Tigers’ second exhibition basketball game of a 10-day international tour, VanLeer pumped in a game-high 26 points during a 92-78 win against Lithuanian club BC Silute at the Pala Terme Sport Complex in Montecatini, Italy, a short drive from Florence.
VanLeer made 6 of 10 three-pointers and led a quartet of Mizzou players in double figures.
The Tigers, who improved to 2-0 on the trip, led 47-41 at halftime, but BC Silute tied the game at 72-72 entering the fourth quarter — which third-year coach Kim Anderson’s squad dominated 20-6 in pulling away for the win.
Sophomore forward Kevin Puryear added 16 points for MU, which also got 11 points apiece from senior forward Russell Woods and freshman forward Willie Jackson.
Woods also grabbed six rebounds, while Jackson finished with a double-double thanks to a team-high 10 rebounds.
Sophomore guard Terrence Phillips also grabbed 10 rebounds. He added six points and team-highs with seven assists and six steals against only two turnovers.