SE Missouri St. falters in loss to No. 12 Missouri
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Tyler Stone's second return to Mizzou Arena was everything he wanted it to be — for one half.
Southeast Missouri State had a 45-35 lead at the break over No. 12 Missouri on Tuesday night, threatening to end another opponent's lengthy home winning streak over nonconference opponents. However, the 3-point shooting that had carried the Redhawks dried up in the second half, and the Tigers won 81-65.
Two years after transferring from Missouri, Stone scored 11 points in the first half, but only three in the second. Corey Wilford scored all of his 14 points in the first half to lead the Redhawks, who ended Southeastern Louisiana's 31-game win streak Saturday. The Tigers' victory extended their streak to 70 games.
Southeast Missouri (6-5) provided its in-state opponent with a scare for the second consecutive year after taking an early lead thanks to eight 3-pointers in the first half. The Redhawks entered the game having won three consecutive games while shooting 27 for 39 on 3-pointers during that stretch. However, they made 1 of 11 from beyond the arc in the second half against the Tigers.
Wilford's drive down the lane for a layup with 4:53 remaining in the first half capped an 8-0 run for the Redhawks, giving them a 38-27 advantage for the team's largest lead of the game. Missouri answered with six consecutive points, but Southeast Missouri rebounded to take the 10-point halftime lead.
"We didn't bring it second half," Stone said. "First half, we brought it. We came out with the right tenacity. We didn't bring it second half to be honest."
Stone is leading Southeast Missouri in scoring (15.5) for the second consecutive season after transferring from Missouri after his freshman year, when he scored 22 points in 12 games.
Coach Dickey Nutt lavished praise on Stone, saying he has improved both on and off the court.
"Everything about his life has changed for the better, and that's why we're so proud and pleased to have Tyler," Nutt said. "He's gotten better and better every play, every game out. Let me tell you, no one hurts and will be eat up with this loss worse than him."
But Stone wasn't enough to break Missouri's added defensive pressure along the perimeter in the second half, after the Tigers received words of "encouragement" from coach Frank Haith during halftime.
Laurence Bowers scored a career-high 26 points for Missouri (7-1).
"He can do everything," Keion Bell said. "His skill set is so diverse that you can't really come up with a game plan of how to stop him. You can try to contain him. But Laurence, he can just do everything on the floor. He's a hard, diligent worker, and his hard work is paying off."
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