(Photo by L.G. Patterson/Associated Press)
53 points. That was the difference in Tuesday’s matchup between Missouri and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Over the past two years, any hardcore Mizzou fan wouldn’t dream of a win that big.
Yes the 78-25 win was against a now 2-12 team who simply did not show up at all in this game. But hey, Mizzou fans will take their 50+ point wins when they can get them.
It can’t be completely attributed to this landslide, but Kim Anderson’s new starting lineup of Phillips-Walton-Clark-Puryear-Woods set the tone for an energetic, up-tempo game.
What pleases me about this change is that it rewards deserving players. K.J. Walton and Russell Woods really showed up over the past few games while Namon Wright and Ryan Rosburg haven’t really shown much lately.
Kevin Puryear lead the way with 13 points and had a couple of electrifying dunks. It was a good sign for him as he has fallen off some since the trip to Arizona a few weeks back.
Wes Clark picked up right where he left, scoring 11 as he hit his first three shots.
Jakeenan Gant looks like he’s finally turned the corner. He only had seven, but grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds. He also showed out on the defensive end with four blocks as well.
Will this happen next Wednesday at Georgia? No, but maybe now this team starts playing with confidence. They proved they can keep their foot on the gas pedal for the full 40 minutes, now it’s time to replicate that.
2015 is mercifully coming to an end for Missouri basketball. After a dreadful 9-23 total record for the calendar year, Tiger fans have their sights set on a much brighter 2016.
Hopefully the basketball team does as well; they kick off the year on Saturday against Savannah State where they’ll wrap up the non-conference slate.