#15 Mizzou holds off Western Illinois in season opener

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Laurence Bowers had nine points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots, and No. 15 Missouri overcame awful free throw shooting in its opener to hold off Western Illinois 66-61 on Thursday night.

Phil Pressey, Marcus Denmon and Steve Moore also had nine points apiece for Missouri (1-0), which won its 48th consecutive non-conference home game despite going only 14 for 27 from the line. The Tigers shot 72 percent last season while going 23-11 and advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Matt Lander had 24 points and Kamarr Price added 15 points, 12 rebounds and two blocks for Western Illinois (2-1), which had a 38-37 rebounding edge. The Leathernecks were 8 for 11 from the line.