Columbia, MO – Phil Pressey scored a game-high 21 points and the No.14 Missouri Tigers punished the Alcorn State Braves, 91-54, outscoring them by 30 points in the second half.
Earnest Ross and Alex Oriakhi each posted double-doubles in the win for Missouri (2-0). Ross finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds while Oriakhi tallied 12 points and 10 boards for the Tigers, who defeated SIU-Edwardsville in their season-opener.
"I thought we came out in the second half, got it going defensively, knocked some balls loose, executed a lot better and we made some nice adjustment in terms of how we played in the second half," Missouri head coach Frank Haith said.
LeAntwan Luckett led the way for the Braves (1-1) with 14 points and Anthony Nieves added 13 for Alcorn State, which was coming off a season-opening victory against Oakwood.
"My team and I learned that when you play on the road against a good team in a hostile environment, you have to play for forty minutes. You can't play for twenty minutes or even fifteen minutes, you have to play for forty minutes," Alcorn State Luther Riley said.
Alcorn State hung tight with Missouri through the first 20 minutes and trailed by just seven heading into the second half.
A jumper by Michael Starks pulled the Braves within two with 2:35 to go in the first half, but the Tigers scored the final five points of the period for a 30-23 advantage heading into the break.
The Tigers pounced all over the Braves early in the second stanza, building a 20-point lead following Ross's three-point play less than five minutes in.
The Braves never recovered and were unable to cut the deficit to single digits the rest of the way. Missouri led by as many as 40 after Tony Criswell connected on 1-of-2 from the line with 1:32 left in the game.
Alcorn State had 16 turnovers compared to Missouri's 9 ... The Tigers outrebounded the Braves by 16 ... Laurence Bowers was the only other Tiger in double-figures, scoring 14 points and blocking three shots.