No. 15 Missouri handles SIU Edwardsville in opener

No. 15 Missouri handles SIU Edwardsville in opener
November 10, 2012, 7:18 pm
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Missouri's Alex Oriakhi, right, pulls down a rebound in front of Southern Illinois-Edwardsville's Derian Shaffer, left, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

(APWF)

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) Laurence Bowers had 20 points and seven rebounds in his return from a knee injury that sidelined him all of last season, leading No. 15 Missouri to an 83-69 season-opening victory over Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Saturday.

Bowers outscored the Cougars 10-2 by himself during a two-minute stretch early in the second half for the Tigers, who are ranked to start the season for a third straight year.

Phil Pressey scored 13 of his 19 points in the first half and Alex Oriakhi, part of a strong transfer class, had 15 rebounds and eight points for Missouri.

Jerome Jones hit five 3-pointers and scored 17 points for SIU Edwardsville, which was held to 33 percent shooting. Reserve Michael Messer added 13 points but Mark Yelovich, the Cougars' top returning scorer, was held scoreless on 0-for-5 shooting with four fouls.