Michael Dixon scored 31 points to lead the Missouri men's basketball team to a 81-72 victory over a talented Bent-Schoenen Waregem squad in front of a vocal crowd Monday in Waregem, Belgium.
The Tigers, who were playing their first game in two days, started slow and Bent built a 12-2 advantage in the first 3:35. Bent hit four of its first five shots from the floor, including a pair of 3-point plays.
“I give them a lot of credit,” Missouri coach Frank Haith said. “They are a veteran club, so I knew they would have a lot of confidence coming in. I knew they would come out firing, and they hit some shots early. I wanted our guys to hang in there and just stay patient. Once we did that, everything fell into place.”
After a late 3-point basket from Dixon closed the first half, the Tigers were down just 46-42.
Then, in the final two quarters, the Tigers held Bent to just 28 percent shooting from the floor and 0-of-9 shooting from 3-point range. The Tigers out-rebounded Bent 25-11 during that stretch, with eight rebounds coming from Earnest Ross, who finished with a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double.
“That was a big stretch,” Dixon said. “Earnest was a warrior out there, and Ryan Rosburg gave us some great minutes.”
Rosburg, a rookie from the St. Louis area, unleashed an array of post moves and scored seven points. He twice used up-and-under moves to fool a much older defender and found ways to impact the game, both at the foul line and knocking balls away from post players.
“I really like what Ryan did for us tonight,” Haith said.
The Tigers, who are still getting used to European style officiating, had four players with four fouls.
Missouri returns to action with a game on Tuesday vs. Gent.