COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Jeremiah Tilmon scored a career-high 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead Missouri to a 71-56 victory over Xavier on Tuesday night.
Foul trouble has been a recurring theme for Tilmon, a 6-foot-10 sophomore forward, but he avoided silly fouls while playing solid defense against the Musketeers. Mark Smith and Jordan Geist added 13 points each for the Tigers (7-3) and combined for 13 rebounds.
Quentin Goodin scored 21 points for Xavier (7-5), which shot 39 percent from the field.
Tilmon’s big night started early. Xavier initially didn’t double-team him in the post and he overpowered defenders Tyrique Jones and Zach Hankins inside. He also showed open-court skills when he stole the ball from guard Paul Scruggs and drove the length of the court for a layup in the first half.
Missouri led 41-27 at halftime and extended the advantage to as many as 29 points in the second half.
Missouri: An 11-day layoff appeared to do wonders for the Tigers, who turned in their most complete performance of the season. They shot 45 percent from the field and controlled the game after building a double-digit lead midway through the first half.
Xavier: In coach Travis Steele’s first season, the Musketeers’ mastery of Missouri evaporated. Xavier had beaten the Tigers four straight times — including three times in the previous four years — before Tuesday night’s loss.
Missouri: The Tigers head to St. Louis for a neutral-site game against Illinois on Saturday at the Enterprise Center. Missouri will try to break a five-year losing streak in the annual Braggin’ Rights rivalry game.