Puryear’s 18 points leads Missouri past Omaha, 84-78

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) _ Kevin Puryear scored 18 points and hauled in eight rebounds as Missouri held off Omaha for an 85-78 victory Wednesday night.

The Tigers’ leading scorer was particularly efficient, shooting 5 for 8 from the field and 7 for 8 from the free-throw line in 25 minutes of play.

Terrence Phillips caught the hot hand early, making his first three 3-point attempts for a total of nine first-half points. Phillips finished with 14 points before fouling out with 2:36 to play.

The Tigers led 37-30 at halftime after shooting 50 percent from the field, while holding the Mavericks to 33.3 percent shooting.

Despite its sharp shooting, Missouri struggled to hold onto the ball in the first half, committing 13 turnovers, it’s most in a half all season. Omaha took advantage of the sloppy ball handling, scoring 13 points off turnovers in the half.