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No. 12 Mizzou snaps to attention, beats SE Missouri State

Laurence Bowers poured in a game-high 26 points with nine rebounds as the No. 12 Missouri Tigers overcame a 10- point halftime deficit to down Southeast Missouri State, 81-65, at Mizzou Arena.

Phil Pressey totaled 17 points, Tony Criswell added 13, while Keion Bell had 12 points and a game-best 11 boards for the Tigers (7-1), who have won three straight since their lone loss to Louisville.

"We let them get too comfortable in the first half," Missouri head coach Frank Haith said. "We were closing on their shooters with our hands down. We did a much better job in the second half, pushing them off the line."

Corey Wilford scored 14 points and dished out four assists for the Redhawks (6-5), who saw their three-game win streak snapped. Nino Johnson and Tyler Stone each contributed 13 points in a losing cause.

A trey from Lucas Nutt extended the visitors' edge to 48-37 early in the second half, but Mizzou began chipping away.

Two from the line by Earnest Ross brought the deficit below double digits, and a short time later, back-to-back layups from Criswell and Bell shrunk the margin to 50-43.

Marland Smith's jumper established a 54-45 advantage for SEMO, but Bowers and Pressey hit buckets and Pressey made two from the charity stripe for a three- point game at 54-51. Smith's two free throws pushed the Redhawks' lead to five, before a Bowers triple, Pressey free throw and Bowers jumper gave Missouri a 57-56 edge with 10:55 to play.

Within the next three minutes, the Tigers stretched their lead to 64-58 on a slam from Alex Oriakhi, then Negus Webster-Chan completed a three-point play to make it a nine-point spread for the hosts with 7:43 remaining.

Two baskets from Johnson pulled the visitors within five, but Bowers connected on back-to-back shots and Bell added a slam for a 73-62 game, and Southeast Missouri had nothing left in the tank.

It started out well for the Redhawks, who stayed close to the Tigers throughout the first half until using a 15-4 run to gain an 11-point lead.

Stone began the run with a three-pointer to snap a 23-23 deadlock, Nick Niemczyk hit a pair of triples and Wilford added two baskets, the last of which came with 4:52 left before intermission for a 38-27 contest.

Stone connected again with seconds to go and the Redhawks led 45-35 at the break.

"I was proud of the way we came out in the first half," said SE Missouri head coach Dickey Nutt. "We were clicking on all cylinders and did a great job of sharing the basketball. We shot well and had the momentum."

Game Notes

Mizzou has won all seven meetings with their in-state rivals ... Pressey hit just 4-of-18 shots from the floor, but balanced that with an 8-for-12 effort from the charity stripe and added three steals ... Smith finished with 10 points, four rebounds and four assists in a losing cause ... Missouri also claimed a 42-22 advantage in points in the paint.

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