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Missouri flexes defensive muscles, cruises to 71-56 win over visiting NKU on Friday night

NKyTribune staff

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Mark Smith led a balanced scoring attack with 19 points Friday night as Missouri posted a 71-56 win over Northern Kentucky at the Mizzou Arena.

Jeremiah Tilmon added 13 points and five rebounds for Missouri, which held NKU to 37.3 percent shooting from the field. The Tigers (2-0) also finished with a 39-28 advantage on the boards and defeated the Norse in the first-ever meeting between the two programs.

Tyler Sharpe scored 18 points to lead NKU. Sharpe, who hit four 3-pointers, also dished out four assists and collected a pair of steals. Silas Adheke and Trevon Faulkner each added 10 points for the Norse, who dropped to 1-1.

Missouri’s Mark Smith (13) looks for an opening while being guarded by NKU’s Tyler Sharpe (15). (Photo courtesy of Mizzou Strategic Communications)

Missouri limited the visitors to 38.7 percent shooting from the field in the first half and built a 36-29 lead at the break. Smith netted 15 points and drained a trio of 3-pointers in the first half to ignite the Tigers.

NKU shot just 5-for-16 from 3-point range in the first half and did not attempt a free throw. Adham Eleeda buried a pair of 3-pointers off the bench for the Norse during the opening 20 minutes.

Missouri used a 17-0 run in the second half to turn a 43-39 lead into a 60-39 bulge. Kobe Brown and Mitchell Smith each netted 10 points for the Tigers, who shot 45.5 percent from the field and knocked down six 3-pointers in 19 attempts.

Jalen Tate, who was held scoreless in the first half, dished out eight assists and finished with four points. He also pulled down five rebounds. Dantez Walton added eight points and five rebounds for the Norse, who were 8-for-29 from 3-point range.

NKU is now 0-4 all-time against Southeastern Conference teams. The Norse also lost twice to Kentucky and dropped a road contest at Texas A&M in 2017.

NKU plays at Coastal Carolina on Tuesday night. A year ago, the Norse knocked off the Chanticleers by an 89-83 score in Highland Heights. Coastal Carolina opened the season at home by losing to Campbell (N.C.), 75-74, but then bounced back with a 102-66 win over Hampden-Sydney on Friday night.


Tate 1-4 2-4 4, Sharpe 6-13 2-2 18, Adheke 5-6 0-0 10, Walton 4-11 0-0 8, Faulkner 4-14 0-0 10, Eleeda 2-9 0-0 6, Langdon 0-1 0-0 0, Harris 0-1 0-0 0, Djoko 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-59 4-6 56.
Brown 4-7 2-2 10, Tilmon 5-6 3-4 13, Pinson 3-7 2-2 8, Ma. Smith 6-10 3-4 19, D. Smith 2-9 5-5 9, Mi. Smith 4-6 0-0 10, Jackson 0-2 0-0 0, Pickett 1-3 0-0 2, Watson 0-4 0-0 0, Braun 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 25-55 15-17 71.
HALFTIME: UM 36-29. 3-POINTERS: (NKU 8-29, UM 6-19). REBOUNDS: NKU 28 (Faulkner 6), UM 39 (Mi. Smith 7).
RECORDS: Missouri 2-0, NKU 1-1.

(Information compiled from Mizzou Strategic Communications and staff reports)

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