Missouri pulls away late to beat Central Michigan 78-68

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Javon Pickett scored 18 points and led five in double figures as Missouri pulled away late to beat Central Michigan 78-68 on Tuesday night in the season opener for both teams.

Central Michigan used a 12-4 run to pull to 64-62 with 3:22 remaining. Pickett answered with a 3-pointer, Kobe Brown made 5 of 6 free throws and then added a dunk following Amari Davis’ missed 3, and the Tigers led 74-68 with 38 seconds left.

Pickett was 8-of-14 shooting from the floor. Ronnie DeGray III had 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for the Tigers. Davis and Jarron Coleman added 14 points apiece and Brown finished with 10.

Jermaine Jackson Jr. made five 3-pointers and had 19 points and five assists to lead Central Michigan. Miroslav Stafl added 15 points.

It was the debut for Chippewas’ coach Tony Barbee, who took over the program in April. Barbee spent the previous seven seasons on John Calipari’s staff at Kentucky.

It was just the second matchup between the teams. The Tigers won the other meeting, 87-76 on Nov. 12, 2007.

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