Missouri strives for turnaround when it faces Northern Illinois

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Missouri looks to rebound from one of the worst losses in coach Cuonzo Martin’s regime when they host Northern Illinois on Thursday night.

The Tigers (1-1) fell 80-66 to the visiting Kansas City Roos Monday night.

“Often times as a coach, you can see things coming,” Martin said. “You try to spend a lot of time with your guys working on tough stuff, gritty stuff. Fighting through screens, boxing (out). All those tough things to prepare them for this. Sometimes those painful lessons, you have to go through ’em. We went through it.”

Martin hopes the setback helps the Tigers refocus in practice as they prepare to face the Huskies (1-1) at Columbia, Mo.

Northern Illinois scored a 71-64 victory at Washington in its opener before falling at Indiana 85-49 Friday.

“We have to get better; we ran into a better defensive team,” Northern Illinois first-year coach Rashon Burno said. “We have a lot to learn, we will get a chance to watch the film, make some adjustments and get ready for (Missouri) Thursday.”

Keshawn Williams scored a career-high 21 points for the Huskies at Indiana, but the Northern Illinois offense was derailed by 23 turnovers.

Missouri turned the ball over 18 times, missed 10 of 14 shots from 3-point range and missed 10 of 24 free-throw attempts against Kansas City. The half-court offense sputtered from start to finish.

“They compete in practice, but what happens is sometimes you have to go through this to feel it,” Martin said. “You have to execute what we do that makes us a good team. All these things we talk about every day, dribble penetration, pitch the ball, sprint into your ball screens, roll to the basket … being gritty on defense, closing out, contesting shots, block outs.”

Missouri is led by Kobe Brown, who averages 15.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. He scored 20 against Kansas City Monday.

Trendon Hankerson paces the Huskies with 15.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

–Field Level Media

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