COLUMBIA, Mo. — Jeremiah Tilmon scored 16 points and blocked five shots to lead Missouri to an 82-42 victory over Incarnate Word on Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.
Tilmon, a 6-foot-10 forward, went on a tear midway through the first half, scoring four baskets in the paint -- three of them off assists from Xavier Pinson -- in a three-minute span as the Tigers expanded their lead from six to 14 points.
Tilmon, who fouled out of 20 games the last two years, sat down for good with 7:15 left in the game after committing his fourth foul. By then the game was well out of hand.
Pinson came off the bench to score 15 points and dish five assists. Javon Pickett added 10 points. Freshman Mario McKinney scored seven points, including an acrobatic follow-dunk late in the second half.
The Tigers led 43-22 at halftime and grew the lead to as many as 46 points in the second half.
Freshman guard Drew Lutz led the Cardinals with 16 points, and fellow freshman Vincent Miszkiewicz grabbed 10 rebounds.
Incarnate Word: The Cardinals, who went 6-25 last season, are retooling with five freshmen and three players coming off a redshirt season. The only starter who played last year was Morgan Taylor. Lutz, a lefty point guard, did not look intimidated in his first college game and appears to be a player second-year coach Carson Cunningham can build around.
Missouri: The 3-point arc was moved back from 20 feet, 9 inches to the international distance of 22-1 3/4 inches this season. The Tigers struggled from the longer distance. Missouri made 7 of 31 from beyond the arc (22.6%).
Incarnate Word: The Cardinals visit Northern Colorado on Friday.
Missouri: The Tigers return to action Friday against Northern Kentucky at home.