COLUMBIA, MO -- Miami RedHawks basketball coach John Cooper remarked before Tuesday’s matchup against the Missouri Tigers that he would like his team to get off to some better starts. Not only did that not happen once Tuesday, it didn’t happen twice.
Missouri blitzed the RedHawks at the beginning of both halves on the way to an 81-55 victory over Miami at Mizzou Arena.
The visitors actually . . .
Freshman point guard Michael Weathers finally broke the ice for MU, draining a three at 10:36. That kick-started a 12-3 Miami run that got the RedHawks within five at 19-14.
The cold start syndrome struck Miami again as the second half opened, only this time MU would not be able to recover.
Missouri quickly jumped on the RedHawks, getting a four-point play from Frankie Hughes to ignite an 18-2 Tigers run. Missouri hit four treys and added six free throws while building a 44-27 lead by the 16:21 mark.
Riding a big second half by 6-8 senior Russell Woods, who tallied all 15 of his points after intermission and also grabbed 10 boards on the evening, Missouri led by as many as 22 points (58-36) with 9:30 to go.
Miami knocked it down to 62-50 following a pair of Bruno Solomun free throws with 6:10 remaining, but that was as close as the visitors would get. Michael Weathers fouled out less than a minute later and Missouri run off 10 straight points. The Tigers fashioned then bumped their advantage to 24 points twice more, including the final margin.
The hosts shot 37.3 percent from the field overall and hit 31.0 percent from distance. Miami continued its shooting struggles, hitting just 18 of 59 (30.5%) overall and 6 of 31 (19.4%) on threes.
Miami did not help itself with turnovers, committing 15 to the Tigers six.
Missouri held a 50-44 advantage on the boards and owned nine more made-free throws.
Four Miami players reached double figures, with McLane and Michael Weathers each registering a team-high 12 points. Bruno Solomun , a 6-9 freshman making his second appearance – both this week – tallied 11 points, grabbed six rebounds and registered two blocks in 23 minutes. Marcus Weathers also contributed 11 points.
Kevin Puryear led all scorers with 19 points. Joining the sophomore and Woods (15 points) in double figures for the Tigers were sophomore Cullen VanLeer (14) and Hughes (13).
Miami returns home to Millett Hall Saturday when it face IUPUI. The game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. but will follow the Miami women’s team game, which starts at 1 p.m.