For the first time this season Missouri’s basketball team is two games above .500.
A 74-58 win over Oakland Friday night assured the Tigers that they would enter 2006 with a winning record, at 6-4.
Oakland (5-7) stayed close in the first half and part of the second, much like Eastern Illinois had Wednesday, but again Missouri was able to pull ahead late in the game for a double-digit victory.
Leading 47-46 with less than 12 minutes remaining in the second half, Kevin Young scored four straight points on a dunk and a put back, beginning a 27-12 run that ended the game. Young finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds for his second career double-double.
Early on it wasn’t poor shooting that hurt Missouri, as it had been Wednesday, but rather turnovers. Oakland scored 14 points off of 10 Tiger turnovers in the initial 20-minute session.
But Missouri made 28 of 51 field goals in the game, including shooting .625 in the first half, while holding the Grizzlies to .383 from the field to assure the win.
Joining Young, who’s eight offensive rebounds were a career-high, in double-figure scoring was Thomas Gardner with 19 points, Jimmy McKinney with 14 and Marshall Brown with 14. Gardner’s seven assists were also a career-high.
Jason Horton did not start, but returned to action after being benched for Missouri’s last game. He assisted on a McKinney three-pointer in Missouri’s first possession after the sophomore point-guard returned to the court with 2:06 left in the first half.