Missouri scored a galvanizing road victory by rallying past Minnesota 70-68 on Thursday.
Now the Tigers (3-1) of the Southeastern Conference will continue their team-building efforts by hosting Jackson State (0-5) of Southwestern Athletic Conference) on Sunday in Columbia, Mo.
Missouri trailed Minnesota 59-39 with 11:25 left to play before starting its comeback. The Tigers were sparked by the ejection of starting guard Caleb Grill for protesting a non-call by the officials.
"Adversity is going to be adversity," Missouri coach Dennis Gates said. "We've got to make sure we use it in the right way, but also, there's no substitute for it. There's no substitute for growth. You have to go through something to get to where you are. I'm proud of the guys that came off the bench, I'm proud of Caleb Grill, I'm proud of everybody in this program because it's a program win."
Gates used 13 players against the Golden Gophers as he continued to explore different combinations.
"I'm just glad we got the W," said Missouri guard Sean East II, who leads the team in scoring with a 16.0 average. "We fought so hard back and it's just good to have a reward at the end.
"It's a big-time road win," he continued. "We know we're a tough, resilient team that just, you know, when things get hard, we don't complain or cry about it. We just gotta dig down to find out who we are."
Forward Noah Carter is averaging 13.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game for Missouri, and Nick Honor averages 11.8 points.
Jackson State continued its early season road tour by losing 72-52 at Tulsa on Thursday. Ken Evans Jr. is averaging 18.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game, but he scored just one point in 24 minutes at Tulsa.
Jackson State lost guard Daeshun Ruffin, a transfer from Ole Miss, to a preseason knee injury that will sideline him all season.
On the plus side, 6-foot-7 forward Jordan O'Neal, a transfer from Alabama State, has strengthened the team up front. He is averaging 8.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.
"He's a rim protector, athletic," Jackson State coach Mo Williams said. "I signed him when I was at Alabama State. So he's familiar with me, familiar with my offense, familiar with my coaching staff."
--Field Level Media
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