University of Missouri

Terrence Phillips paces Mizzou to blow out exhibition win over Italian club

Missouri is now three for three in Italy after sophomore point guard Terrence Phillips’ brilliance paced a dominant 81-52 win Friday against Vicenza Select near Venice, Italy.

Phillips helped key the Tigers’ early 25-16 lead after the first quarter.

He finished with game-highs of 17 points, seven assists and five steals along with four rebounds for Missouri, which stretched a comfortable 12-point halftime lead to more than 30 points by outscoring its host 26-6 in the third period.

“I told the team to focus on how they play as a group throughout this trip and that really showed up tonight in Vicenza,” third-year coach Kim Anderson said in a release from MU.

Three other Tigers, including freshman guard Frankie Hughes and freshman forward Willie Jackson, also reached double figures.

Hughes and Jackson, who were also teammates at Garfield Heights High in Cleveland, each scored 12, while sophomore guard Cullen VanLeer added 10 points.

Jackson added a team-high 11 rebounds for his second double-double on the tour, while Phillips, Hughes and VanLeer each connected on a game-best three 3-pointers.

Earlier Friday, Missouri toured Caserma Ederle, which is home to the U.S. Army Garrison Italy.

“Our guys thought it was pretty special that Col. Steve Marks from the Army base here in Vicenza came and spoke to the team before the game,” Anderson said. “He’s a Mizzou graduate and Columbia native. Colonel Marks even gave the guys a brief rundown of Mizzou basketball history when we visited the base this morning.”

Anderson presented Marks with a game ball after the win.

Mizzou, which beat two Lithuanian teams earlier in the week, finishes up its four-game exhibition slate against the Kosovo national team at 11:30 a.m. Saturday in suburban Milan, Italy.

Tod Palmer: 816-234-4389, @todpalmer