COLUMBIA, Mo. – Mizzou Men’s Basketball was able to start its 2017-18 season with a resounding win, beating Iowa State 74-59 in front of a capacity crowd at Mizzou Arena Friday night. The Tigers relied heavily on the three-point shot and were great when they went to it, shooting 44 percent from beyond the arc. Head coach Cuonzo Martin’s squad was led by junior forward Kevin Puryear (Blue Springs, Mo.), who poured in 17 points on 86 percent shooting. Puryear came out with something to prove on opening night, leading the Tigers in both points and rebounds (8) for the ninth time in his career.
Coming out of the halftime break, Iowa State mounted a run, using a 10-4 spurt to cut the Mizzou lead to single digits for the first time since the 9:38 mark in the first half. Freshman forward Jeremiah Tilmon (East St. Louis, Ill.) was able to answer, though, putting down a hook shot off of an offensive rebound. After a defensive stop, Tilmon again went to work down low, stepping around his defender on the base line for a layup. After a stretch of back-and-forth action, graduate transfer guard Kassius Robertson (Toronto, Ontario) knocked down a three coming off of a brush screen, which extended Mizzou’s lead to 15 points. After another strong defensive stand, junior guard Jordan Geist (Fort Wayne, Ind.) recovered a loose ball, and splashed a pull-up three on a two-on-one fast break, inflating the Black & Gold lead to 18 points. The Tigers’ lead would never again dip below 15 points.
– Freshman forward Jeremiah Tilmon owned the interior, scoring 14 points on 78 percent shooting. Tilmon also pulled down seven rebounds, two of which came on the offensive glass.
– Graduate transfer guard Kassius Robertson played a balanced game in his Mizzou debut, scoring 11 points, grabbing five rebounds, and dishing out two assists.
– Senior forward Jordan Barnett (St. Louis, Mo.) had 15 points on 50 percent shooting, including a thunderous two-handed slam that took the top off of a sold-out Mizzou Arena.
– Senior forward Kevin Puryear set a new career-high in steals, with three on the night. It was also a team-high.
– Puryear led the Tigers in points and rebounds for the ninth time in his career and for the third time in his last four games dating back to last season.
– Mizzou Arena sold out for the first time since March 5, 2013, against Arkansas.
– The win against the Cyclones tonight marked the Tigers’ 150th all-time win against Iowa State.
– With Coach Martin’s win in his debut, Mizzou coaches moved to 17-2 all-time in debut games.
The Tigers are set to host Wagner on Monday, November 13, at Mizzou Arena. The tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CST.
— MU Athletics —