Five sights and five sounds from Mizzou's win over Oral Roberts
College Contributor Network
Missouri's win over Oral Roberts Wednesday night was exactly what a young team like the Tigers needed, winning handily 78-64, giving the team confidence as they head into a very tough game Monday night at the Maui Invitational against No. 2 Arizona. Here are five sights and sounds from the game.
The force is strong with Obi "Wan Kenobi" Emegano:
The Golden Eagles' star player started the game off on a ridiculous pace, shooting five-for-five from the field, resulting in 18 points in the game's first seven minutes. Foul trouble from the guard caused him to sit most of the first half, but he still finished with 30 points, four short of the record for points by a visiting player at Mizzou Arena. Who knows how the game would've gone if he didn't have to sit.
Mizzou didn't make the most of its size advantage:
The Tigers have multiple players on their roster that are 6-foot-9 or taller but, despite Oral Roberts' tallest player being 6-foot-6, the Tigers only outrebounded the Golden Eagles 32-31. The Tigers didn't make the most of their size and missed some easy points in the paint and free throws, which caused them to struggle a little more than they should have.
Wes Clark is turning into the team's leader:
Clark, a sophomore point guard from Detroit, had his moments coming off the bench last year but this year he's opened the season on fire. Clark had 14 points and nine assists Wednesday night and helped the Tigers get the game back in their control by scoring the first five points of the second half to give Missouri the lead again. Kim Anderson says that the players' roles on the team are still up in the air, but Clark is looking more and more like a leader on the team each game.
Senior transfer Keith Shamburger sets the tempo for the Tigers, as he's taken more of a facilitator's role on offense his first few games, rather than a scoring one. Shamburger had nine points, four rebounds and four steals (hence the nickname) against Oral Roberts. Being the most experienced player on the team and one of only two seniors, Shamburger could be more aggressive on offense and nobody would be surprised. His season will be one to watch closely to see how and if his role changes.
Missouri was 12-for-21 for the game from behind the arc, eight of which came in the second half. Clark had three treys while freshman Montaque Gill-Caesar had four of his own. Sophomore forward Johnathan Williams III had a pair as well which was impressive to see since he rarely took those shots last year. Missouri isn't known for being much of a three-point shooting team so it will be interesting to see if Wednesday was a fluke or an actual weapon they can use the rest of the season.
ORU coach Scott Sutton on Mizzou's shooting performance:
"I've been in basketball all my life and in 16 years as a head coach I don't think I've seen a performance quite like that. And that's coming from a team that's not known for being a great jump-shooting team."
Sutton on limiting Emegano in the first half:
"I have a rule where if you pick up two fouls in the first half you sit. I should've put him back in the game the way he was playing. He's playing at such a high level. I told our guys we have to learn from our mistakes, I'm learning from that mistake as well."
Gill-Caesar on playing Arizona:
"We're going into that game with confidence, and we know we're capable of competing with any team in the country it doesn't matter if it's Arizona or Oral Roberts."
Anderson on importance of the win:
"I hoped all day that something good would happen because this team is young. They're so young and I know you guys get tired of hearing that, but they're new and they're trying to do what we ask them to do. It worked. They executed well and we did a good job defensively. We did some different things defensively, which I think were really good. Hopefully we can just keep building on this stuff as we still have more to do, but tonight was a good start."
Clark on team's shooting performance:
"I think we've always been a good shooting team. We've just been a little nervous and hadn't really found the chemistry and a feel for each other. We started to get the ball in the right spots at the right times and were able to make some open shots."
Alex Schiffer is a sophomore journalism student at the University of Missouri and hails from Westfield, New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter: @TheSchiffMan