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Missouri Explodes in Second Half to Crush Alcorn State

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Phil Pressey scored 21 points and Laurence Bowers added 14 -- all in the second half -- to help No. 14 Missouri rout Alcorn State 91-54 on Tuesday night.

After a rough first half, the Tigers (2-0) pulled away from the Braves. Missouri made just nine of its 39 attempts before the break and held a seven-point halftime advantage thanks to Pressey's deep 3-pointer with three seconds left.

Bowers hit three 3-pointers in the second half to help Missouri take command. The Tigers used an 18-3 run after the half to blow the game open.

LeAntwan Luckett scored 14 points and Anthony Nieves added 13 for Alcorn State (1-1), which struggled from poor shooting of its own. The Braves only shot 30.6 percent for the game, including 9 of 31 in the first half.

Bowers and Pressey were the only players on the court who had worn a Missouri uniform prior to this season as Michael Dixon watched his second consecutive game from the bench, suspended for an undisclosed violation of team rules. Dixon also missed both of the team's exhibition games, and coach Frank Haith has declined to specify a timetable for his return.

Alcorn State, out of the Southwestern Athletic Conference, went 10-22 in coach Luther Riley's first season in 2011-12, a six-win improvement from the Braves' previous season. The team was picked to finish eighth out of 10 teams in the SWAC this season by conference coaches.

Bowers went 3 of 4 from behind the arc, his first 3-pointers since the 2009-10 season after going 0 for 8 in 2010-11 and missing last season recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Bowers scored eight consecutive points five minutes into the second half to give the Tigers a 56-31 advantage, capped by a two-handed dunk off a pass from Pressey.

Missouri won its 67th consecutive home game against a non-conference opponent dating back to the 2005-06 opener.

The matchup was part of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, though the outcome had no bearing on the field headed to the Bahamas next week. The only previous matchup between the two teams was an 82-51 Missouri win on Dec. 1, 1981.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


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