Smiths, Tilmon power Mizzou past Oral Roberts in season opener

Sports

Missouri’s Mark Smith, center, celebrates a 3-point basket with teammates during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Oral Roberts on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

COLUMBIA, Mo- Mark Smith scored 18 points, Xavier Pinson added 17 and Dru Smith 16 as Missouri cruised past Oral Roberts in a season opener 91-64. Mark Smith led the way with four 3-pointers. Javon Pickett tossed in 11 points, converting 5-of-5 from the foul line. Jeremiah Tilmon added eight points and 12 rebounds.

The opener coincided with Tilmon’s birthday, who noted afterward that Wednesday was “his last first game” as a Tiger. The East St. Louis native told reporters earlier in the week that he’s coming into the season as a more disciplined person and a player and it showed on Norm Stewart Court Wednesday. He’s struggled with foul trouble over the course of his entire college career but only had one against Oral Roberts.

Afterward, Tilmon was pleased with another facet of his game: rebounding. “I shouldn’t get less than 10 rebounds a game,” he said. “That’s what my teammates should expect out of me.”

Missouri’s Jeremiah Tilmon, left, blocks the shot of Oral Roberts’ Kareem Thompson during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

What the Tigers currently don’t know? Their next opponent. Head Coach Cuonzo Martin said the plan is still to travel to Connecticut for a multiple team event next week which has been beset by cancellations due to coronavirus protocols with potential opponents.

The Associated Press contributed information for this story

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