Missouri used a strong first half and their patented pressure defense to capture an 81-63 victory over the Mercer Bears in their opener of the CBE Classic. The Tigers forced the Bears into 20 turnovers for the game that they turned into easy opportunities on the offensive end.
Phil Pressey finished with 22 points, four assists and five steals for the Tigers. Kim English chipped in 18 points while Michael Dixon and Marcus Denmon added 14 and 12 respectively. Missouri shot 46 percent from the field and connected on 11 of 22 shots from beyond the arc. The Tigers also got to the free throw line frequently making 20-29 while Mercer was just 9-12.
Jibri Bryan was one of just two Mercer players in double figures with 19 points. Langston Hall finished with 11 and seven assists. The Bears shot a respectable 44 percent from the field but couldn't overcome the large discrepancy in free throws nor the turnover margin that helped ignite Missouri's offensive attack.
Missouri will continue play in the CBE Classic with a home match up against Niagra on Thursday. The Tigers will travel to Kansas City on November 21 where they will take on Notre Dame in the semifinals.