Missouri Downs SIUE Men's Basketball Team


Published on November 12 2012 6:24 am
Last Updated on November 12 2012 6:24 am
Written by Millie Lange

COLUMBIA, Mo. – SIUE men's basketball led the majority of the first half Saturday, but in the end No. 15 Missouri proved too much, defeating the Cougars 83-69 at Mizzou Arena.

"Missouri is a great team. Give them a lot of credit," SIUE Head Coach Lennox Forrester said. "Our guys played hard. I like the way we came out and fought.  We didn't back down, but we kind of let the game get away."

For Missouri (1-0), it was the 66th consecutive non-conference home game the Tigers have won. SIUE, meanwhile fell to 1-5 in season openers under Forrester. The Cougars (0-1) have dropped five straight season-opening games.  

Derian Shaffer put SIUE ahead 2-0 with a tip-in to start the scoring. Missouri tied the game, before the Cougars went back on top thanks to a three-pointer from Jerome Jones made it 5-2 with 17:49 left in the half. The Cougars led 7-4 at the first media timeout with 15:59 to play before half.

Jones gave the Cougars their largest lead, six points, when his layup made it 18-12 with 12:07 to play in the first half. Mizzou cut into the lead, but the Cougars pushed it to five three times in the half. Another three-point shot by Jones made it 26-21 with 8:13 left in the half.

Jones finished with 17 points to lead SIUE in scoring.

"He did a great job of coming out with some high energy tonight," Forrester said.

SIUE held the lead until Negus Webster-Chan nailed a three-point basket from the right wing to make it 27-26 with 6:40 left in the first half.

Michael Messer hit a pair of free throws with 4:10 remaining in the half to put the Cougars back on top 30-29. Messer finished with 13 points and was a 8 for 8 from the free throw line.

"I thought (Messer) did a good job tonight," Forrester said. "In the exhibition games he was slowly coming along."  

Charles Joy pushed SIUE's lead back to four points at 34-30 before the Tigers proceeded on a 10-0 run to end the first half. Phil Pressey hit a floater from the lane with 2:10 left in the half to put Missouri up 35-34. The Tigers led 40-34 at the half.

"I thought our guys played pretty well for most of the first half," Forrester said. "We kind of rushed some shots down the stretch in the first half."

Missouri began the second half where it left off in the first, quickly extending the run and the lead. Laurence Bowers scored eight consecutive points early in the half to help the Tigers' run. A Bowers jumper made it 50-39 with 16:18 to play, forcing the Cougars to call a timeout.

Bowers, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL, scored a game-high 20 points to lead the Tigers. 18 of his points came in the second half.

The Tigers led by as many as 22 following a Stefan Jankovic free throw with 10:51 left made it 66-44.

In all four Cougars turned in double-digit scoring efforts for the Cougars. Kris Davis and Maurice Wiltz each scored 11 points to join Jones and Messer in double figures.

Missouri got 19 points from Pressey, who also added nine assists, and 11 from Webster-Chan. The Tigers outrebounded the Cougars 50-60.

SIUE returns to open the home season Wednesday. The Cougars play host to Western Illinois at Vadalabene Center with a 7 p.m. game.