The Missouri men’s basketball team secured a 68-50 victory against SIU Edwardsville on Monday night, rebounding with a strong second-half defensive performance in front of 9,656 fans at Mizzou Arena. With this win, the Tigers improved their record to 2-1 for the season, while the Cougars fell to 1-2.
Graduate guard Sean East II led the Tigers on the offensive front, scoring 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting. The Louisville, Kentucky, native made history by becoming the first MU player since 2007-08 to lead the team in scoring for each of the first three contests, following in the footsteps of DeMarre Carroll.
Graduate forward Noah Carter contributed to Mizzou’s success, securing a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while also recording three blocks, a career-high for him.
The early moments of the game were closely contested, with neither team establishing a significant lead until the 12:04 mark of the first half. The game featured four ties and four lead changes.
Carter’s three consecutive 3-pointers within 80 seconds helped the Tigers take an 18-14 lead. Although the Cougars fought back to tie the score at 21, back-to-back layups by East II sparked a 17-10 run that closed out the first half.
Entering the second half with a seven-point lead, the Tigers dominated defensively, holding SIUE to only one field goal in the first 18:29 of the half. Mizzou started the half with a 20-6 run, and the Cougars struggled, missing 20 of their first 21 field goal attempts in the second half.
Missouri’s stifling defense forced six turnovers during SIUE’s shooting slump and outscored the Cougars 26-11 in the second half, securing a comfortable victory.
Missouri shot 43.4 percent from the field, including an efficient 37.9 percent from beyond the arc, and made 11-of-14 free throws. On the other hand, SIUE struggled with shooting, managing only 28.0 percent from the field and a mere 12.5 percent in the second half, but found success at the free-throw line, converting 18-of-25 attempts.
Looking ahead, the Tigers will travel north for their first road contest of the 2023-24 season, facing Minnesota on Thursday night at Williams Arena with the tip-off scheduled for 8 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.