Dennis Gates won his head coaching debut at Missouri as the Tigers beat Southern Indiana 97-91 behind Kobe Brown’s 20 points and 14 rebounds Monday night in Columbia, Mo.
Sean East II (12 points, five assists), Tre Gomillion (12 points, five rebounds) and Nick Honor (10 points, five assists) also had strong games for the Tigers.
Jelani Simmons scored 23 points and grabbed six rebounds for Southern Indiana, which made its debut as a Division I after moving up from Division II to join the Ohio Valley Conference.
Trevor Lakes (18 points, five rebounds), Isaiah Swope (13 points, six assists) and Jeremiah Hernandez (14 points) had big nights for the Screaming Eagles in the fast-paced offensive game.
Missouri took a quick 9-0 lead, highlighted by D’Moi Hodge’s 3-point jumper in transition and two inside baskets by Brown.
After a quick timeout, the Screaming Eagles responded with a 7-2 run with Swope scoring five points with a driving basket and a step-back 3-point jumper.
Isiaih Mosley came off the Missouri bench to score two quick baskets in transition as reestablished control with a 15-5 surge that put them ahead 26-12.
Southern Indiana trimmed their deficit to eight points at several points in the final eight minutes in the half, but Missouri pulled away to a 47-31 halftime lead.
The Screaming Eagles missed 12-of-13 shots from 3-point range in the first half before heating up in the second half.
Simmons scored first five points of second half before DeAndre Gholston responded with a 7-point surge to push Missouri’s lead to 56-36.
But the Screaming Eagles responded with a 13-2 run fueled by a pair of 3-point jumpers by Lakes to cut Missouri’s lead to 56-47.
The Tigers moved up 81-63 with back-to-back dunks by Aidan Shaw and Brown. Southern Indiana kept firing, though, and consecutive 3-pointers by Lakes sparked a late charge that cut Missouri’s lead to six points.
–Field Level Media