The Mizzou men’s basketball team launched its 2014-15 campaign with a 72-31 victory over William Jewell College in exhibition action Wednesday night at the Hearnes Center. In Kim Anderson’s first game experience on the sidelines as head coach, the Tigers jumped out to an early lead with stingy defense and coasted to the win behind a 59-31 advantage on the glass.
Sophomore point guard Wes Clark chipped in a game-high 14 points and added seven rebounds and three steals to pace Mizzou. In the paint, junior Ryan Rosburg notched 13 points and pulled in a team-best eight boards. Ten different Tigers found the scoring column en route to the victory.
Defensively, Mizzou swarmed William Jewell, limiting the Cardinals to less than 20 points in each half and just 17 percent shooting from the floor (9-of-52) for the game. The Tigers capitalized on the missed shots with the dominant rebounding edge that held William Jewell to only four second-chance points. Unselfish offense fueled Mizzou’s quick start in the first half. With an early seven-point lead, freshman D’Angelo Allen fed Keanau Post down low for an easy deuce. Two minutes later, the Tigers worked the shot clock and Keith Shamburger polished off a lengthy possession with an extra pass that led to a wide-open three-pointer for Montaque Gill-Caeser. Following the trey, Mizzou built an 11-point cushion and eventually took a 30-17 lead into the halftime break.
Rosburg set the tone at the beginning of the second frame with a tough layup in traffic. The Tigers poured in 30 total points in the paint on the night. At the 16:53 mark, Clark stepped in front of a pass and raced down the court for an electric slam-dunk that gave Mizzou a 36-20 advantage and the Tigers never looked back. In the final minutes, Tramaine Isabell drained a three-pointer for his first points of the game. The freshman guard rattled off eight more points to close out the contest and finished with 10 total. The Tigers will continue exhibition play at Mizzou Arena against UMSL on Nov. 8 and open up the regular season Nov. 14 against UMKC.