MO State HS Sports

Men’s Basketball Returns Home to Face Central Arkansas Saturday

Trent Pierce

Missouri (7-5, 0-0 SEC) vs. Central Arkansas (3-11, 0-0 Atlantic Sun)
Game Details Saturday, Dec. 30 • 2 p.m. • Columbia, Mo. • Mizzou Arena | Gameday Info
Television SEC Network
Radio Tiger Radio Network | Sirius XM: 385 | Sirius XM App: 975
Game Notes Missouri | Central Arkansas
Game Coverage Live Stats | Twitter: @MizzouHoops | Instagram: @MizzouHoops
Tickets Ticketmaster | 1-800-CAT-PAWS

Back at Mizzou Arena for the first time in nearly four weeks, the Missouri basketball team hosts Central Arkansas in the final non-conference game of the season. Tipoff is set for Saturday at 2 p.m. on SEC Network.
• Missouri owns a 7-5 record entering its final non-conference game of the season.
• The Tigers have dropped their last three contests to No. 2 Kansas, Seton Hall and No. 13 Illinois.
• Graduate guard Sean East II leads Mizzou with 17.2 points and 3.8 assists per game in 2023-24.
• Classmates Nick Honor (11.8) and Noah Carter (11.4) also score in double figures.
• Carter also leads the Tigers with 6.4 rebounds.
• Mizzou is averaging 75.3 points per game, while allowing 72.3 on the year.
• Central Arkansas owns a 3-11 record.
• The Bears have lost their last two, including an 88-72 defeat on Thursday at No. 12 Oklahoma.
• Tucker Anderson leads UCA with 13.4 points, while Elias Cato is second with 10.8.
• Ubong Abasi Etim averages a team-best 8.6 boards with Johannes Kirsipuu leading the Bears with 4.9 assists.
• Central Arkansas owns a scoring offense of 69.4 with a scoring defense of 76.5.
• The schools are meeting for the third time with the Tigers winning the previous two contests.
• In the first meeting of the series, the Tigers set a Mizzou Arena record with 116 points.
• The schools also opened the 2018-19 campaign against each other with Mark Smith leading the way with 19 points in a 68-55 Mizzou victory.
• MU owns a 16-3 all-time record against Atlantic Sun schools since the league was first formed as the Trans America Atlantic Conference in 1978.
• Mizzou is 16-2 versus the league in Columbia.
• MU lost its last meeting against a conference foe, falling at Liberty in 2021-22 – ending a three-game winning streak versus the league.
• Sean East II has put his name in the conversation as one of the nation’s most improved players.
• East leads the Tigers with 17.2 points per game – ranking fifth in the SEC and 117th nationally.
• The guard has increased his scoring by 9.9 points per game – the highest mark in the SEC.
• East, who averaged 8.4 points in his first three seasons, owns career-best marks in shooting percentage (55.4) and 3-point percentage (55.9).
• The good news for Mizzou is that the Tigers can expect for Sean East II to consistently be leading the way in 2023-24.
• East leads Mizzou with 10 double-digit scoring games and six contests with 20-plus points.
• His six 20-point contests are four more than the two he had entering the year and the most by a Tiger through 12 games since Jordan Clarkson in 2013-14, while his 10 games of double-digit scoring already match his total from last year.
• In addition, East has scored 15-plus points in seven-straight games – the longest run by a Tiger since Kassius Robertson in 2017-18 (also seven games).
 • Thanks to his strong start to the campaign, Sean East II is quickly approaching 1,000 career points.
• East is just 34 points shy of the career milestone, having scored 966 points in his first 3.5 seasons and 102 career games.
• The graduate would become the fourth active Tiger with 1,000 points – joining Nick Honor, Noah Carter and John Tonje.
• Freshman Trent Pierce has started to find his rhythm during his rookie campaign.
• Making his first career start against No. 13 Illinois last Friday, Pierce tallied a season-best 12 points.
• Pierce has now scored 20 total points during the last two games after tallying just five in the season’s first 10 contests.
• Overall, the rookie is averaging 2.3 points and 1.1 rebounds in 11 games played and 6.8 minutes per contest.
• The Tigers have consistently won the turnover battle over the last two seasons.
• Missouri has forced more turnovers than it committed in 41-of-47 games under Coach Gates (tying once with more turnovers five times).
• This season, the Tigers have won the turnover battle in 10-of-12 games and rank in the top 100 nationally in four key statistics.
• Missouri has forced a season-best 18 turnovers on two occasions, while committing 10 or fewer five times this season – including just seven in its last game versus No. 13 Illinois.

This article is provided by University of Missouri Athletics