Missouri searches for consistency vs. Eastern Illinois

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The Missouri Tigers will try to get their offense back in sync when they host the Eastern Illinois Panthers on Tuesday night.

The Tigers (4-4) are coming off a 66-45 loss at Liberty. Missouri hit just 14 of 49 shots from the floor and 3 of 19 from 3-point range.

They also turned the ball over 19 times while scoring fewer than 60 points for their third straight game against a Division I opponent.

“Once you finish at the rim and get to the free throw line that opens things up,” Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin said. “It’ll come down to the point where we have to make some of those 3s. I think there was opportunity for some 3s that were open, especially in the second half. I thought we had some open ones. Those have to go because if not it puts so much pressure on your offense as well as your defense.”

Kobe Brown (15.3 points, 9.6 rebounds per game) is enjoying a breakout season for the Tigers, but Amari Davis (11.4 points) is their only other player averaging double figures in points.

The Tigers are shooting 39.9 percent from the floor through eight games and 26.2 percent from 3-point range.

First-year Eastern Illinois coach Marty Simmons is early in his building process. The Panthers (2-7) come to Columbia, Mo., winless against Division I teams this season.

Their victories have come against Division III schools Rockford University on Nov. 18 and North Park 76-71 on Saturday.

Kejuan Clements scored 25 points and dished 11 assists for the Panthers against North Park. Last season he averaged 14.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.4 assists at Triton College last season before transferring to Eastern Illinois.

“He just brings great knowledge, he knows how to play, has the ability to make the guys around him better,” Simmons said.

Kashawn Charles, the leading Eastern Illinois scorer at 12.6 points per game, added 17 points in that victory. Former Illinois backup center Jermaine Hamlin had 10 points and six rebounds.

“(Hamlin’s) got a nice touch around the basket, can score with either hand,” Simmons said. “Defensively he’s probably a little bit ahead of offensive side, he has great timing in his ability to block shots.”

–Field Level Media

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