Mizzou Men’s Basketball Powers Past Northern Kentucky 71-56

Mark Smith scored a game-high 19 points in the victory

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Mizzou Men’s Basketball defeated Northern Kentucky, 71-56, on Friday night at Mizzou Arena, giving Mizzou back-to-back victories to open a season for just the third time since 2013. Junior guard Mark Smith (Edwardsville, Ill.) led the Tigers offensively, posting 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field, and a 4-for-7 clip from distance. Smith was able to heat up early on and rack up 15 first-half points to lead Mizzou to a 36-29 lead at the break.

Mizzou forward Mitchell Smith (Van Buren, Ark.) gave the offense a spark off the bench, posting a career-high 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting while drilling a pair of triples. Smith also hauled in a career-high seven rebounds.

After Northern Kentucky cut the lead to four during the early minutes of the second half, Mizzou embarked on a 15-0 run to take control of the ballgame. Mizzou held the Norse to just 36-percent shooting during the second half to cruise away with win.

 

TURNING POINT

After a slow start to begin the second half, the Tigers buckled down defensively and began to work the ball inside on offense. After Northern Kentucky cut the Mizzou advantage to four, the Tigers dominated the remainder of the second half. Mizzou went on a 17-0 run that began with a monster dunk from junior big man Jeremiah Tilmon, Jr. (East St. Louis, Ill.). Mizzou was able to take advantage in the paint as 12 of the 17 points came inside. Meanwhile, the Tigers played smothering defense, shutting Northern Kentucky down. The Norse went more than seven straight minutes without a field goal midway through the second half.

 

TOP TIGERS

  • Looking very impressive in just his second game back from a foot injury, Mark Smith was firing on all cylinders Friday night, finishing with a game-high 19 points. Mark was red hot shooting 6-of-10 from the field and 4-of-7 from downtown.
  • Mitchell Smith showcased his ability to score in the paint and from outside the arc, posting a career high of 10 points in just 16 minutes. Smith shot 4-of-6 from the field and 2-of-2 from distance while also grabbing seven rebounds.
  • Mizzou’s star big man Tilmon, Jr., continued his to dominate as he finished with 13 points, five rebounds and two blocks. Tilmon shot an efficient 5-of-6 from the field.
  • In his second game as a Tiger, Kobe Brown (Huntsville, Ala.) recorded his first game in double figures, scoring 10 points as he shot 4-for-7 from the field. The freshman also grabbed five rebounds and dished out two assists.

NOTES

  • Mizzou was victorious in its first ever match-up against Northern Kentucky and is now a perfect 12-0 against Horizon League opponents.
  • Mark Smith led Mizzou with 19 points in the win. Smith reached double digits on 11 occasions last season. He converted four triples on seven attempts in the victory. A season ago, Smith had four games in which he recorded four or more threes.
  • After swatting away five shots in the season opener on Wednesday, Tilmon, Jr., collected a pair of blocks in Friday night’s win. Tilmon, Jr. has now posted multiple rejections in consecutive games for the first time since recording two blocks in four-straight games during his freshman season. (Dec. 16, 2017 to Jan. 3, 2018)
  • Mizzou guard Xavier Pinson (Chicago, Ill.) dished out six assists in the victory over Northern Kentucky. He has now recorded five or more assists in back-to-back games for the first time in his career.
  • With 13 points, Tilmon, Jr. has scored in double digits in back-to-back games for the first time since accomplishing the feat in three straight games from Jan. 26 – Feb. 2 last season.
  • Mitchell Smith surpassed his career high of nine points, as he tallied 10 points in the victory. Smith also grabbed seven rebounds, matching his career high.
  • Mizzou made the Norse pay when the Tigers were sent to the charity stripe, posting a 15-for-17 (88.2 percent) clip from the line. The Tigers shot at an 80 percent or higher clip in five games last season and were 4-1 in those ballgames. Mizzou’s 88.2-percent rate in Friday’s win is the team’s highest mark since the Tigers posted an identical 15-for-17 clip in a win over Tennessee (Jan. 17, 2018).
  • For the second straight game, Mizzou outrebounded its opponent by 10 or more rebounds, grabbing 39 rebounds to Northern Kentucky’s 28. Last season, the Tigers did so on eight occasions and were 5-3 in those contests.

UP NEXT

Mizzou Men’s Basketball continues the season on Tuesday, Nov. 12, as the Tigers battle Xavier in the first road game of the season. The game is scheduled to tipoff at 6 p.m. CT on CBS Sports Network.

For all the latest on Mizzou Men’s Basketball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com and follow the team @mizzouhoops (TwitterInstagramFacebook).