With much tougher games looming on the horizon, still-unbeaten Missouri will play its final tune-up game Sunday when it hosts Southeast Missouri State in Columbia, Mo.
The Tigers (8-0) will face No. 9 Kansas, Central Florida, No. 16 Illinois, No. 19 Kentucky and No. 11 Arkansas during a five-game stretch from Dec. 10 through Jan. 4.
But first Missouri will face the Redhawks (5-3) at Mizzou Arena.
The Tigers are coming off an 88-84 overtime victory at Wichita State on Tuesday night when they forced 20 turnovers and turned them into 29 points.
“Man, we got a quick team,” Missouri forward Noah Carter said. “Our pressure defensively in the frontcourt and the backcourt, just the amount of energy the opposing team has to use to get the ball across and get into their offense, it really wears them down.
“I think it really came through for us. When you have guards like that who can handle the ball and get us in our offense, it’s all positive.”
The Tigers have been paced by guard D’Moi Hodge (16.9 points per game) and forwards Kobe Brown (13.0) and Carter (12.6). Five different players have led the team in scoring this season and seven players are averaging at least 8.6 points per game.
Through Friday’s games, Missouri ranked third among Division I teams in scoring with 92.6 per game and first in assists with 22.1 per game.
Southeast Missouri State has played well on the road this season, and with five games to play before moving into the Ohio Valley Conference schedule, the Redhawks look o achieve their first winning season in nine years. The Redhawks won at South Florida and Evansville and earned a neutral site victory over Boston University.
“Our guys play, and they compete,” Redhawks coach Brad Korn told the Southeast Missourian. “It is really impressive the way that we compete. We’ve shown this all year.
“We play with a high spirit, and we get up to that line, but we haven’t gone over it. We get right up to it, and I appreciate that, and love that in our guys.”
The Redhawks are led by guards Phillip Russell (14.1 points per game), Chris Harris (11.6) and Israel Barnes (10.0). Kobe Clark, a transfer from Georgetown, is averaging 9.5 rebounds and 7.5 points a game.
–Field Level Media