Mizzou ekes out close win over Western Illinois in season opener

Western Illinois gave a sloppy Mizzou squad a scare Thursday night at Mizzou Arena, keeping the score close until the game’s waning seconds as Mizzou pulled out a 66-61 win in its official season opener.

No Mizzou player scored double-digits in the game, with Laurence Bowers, Phil Pressey, Marcus Denmon, and Steve Moore netting nine apiece to lead the Tigers. Kim English went just 3-10 from the field, only scoring six points. However, English was the only Mizzou player to hit a field goal in the final seven minutes.

Mizzou struggled mightily from the free throw line, hitting just 14 on 27 attempts.

“We’re a work in progress,” said Bowers, adding that Mizzou didn’t play like a No. 15 team like its AP ranking indicated.

“I thought the nerves were going really good,” said Mike Anderson. “When you see guys missing free throws short…you know the nerves are going.”

While Mizzou may still be a work in progress, English stated the obvious after the game: It’s better to win a learning experience than lose.

For full postgame comments from English, Bowers, and Anderson, stay tuned to KBIA Sports Extra tonight and tomorrow.

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