Xavier Pinson scored four straight points late in the second half to break open a close game, Javon Pickett added 16 points and Dru Smith had 12 to end Missouri's three-game losing streak with a 64-54 win over Temple on Saturday night in Philadelphia.
The Tigers (5-4) closed out the game with a 14-2 run to give the Owls (6-2) their first home loss of the season, and gain a key nonconference win to help their NCAA Tournament chances.
Quinton Rose scored 16 points but missed all seven of his 3-pointers and Nate Pierre-Louis finished with 10 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Owls.
The Tigers led 39-33 early in the second half before the Owls clawed back behind their defense, seizing a 45-39 lead following a 9-0 run highlighted by a dunk by Jake Forrester.
The Tigers made just two shots in the first nine minutes before Pickett ended the scoring drought with five straight points in a 35-second span.
J.P. Moorman II made a 3-pointer to give the Owls a 50-47 lead. Both teams endured a two-plus minute field-goal drought at a critical time until Jeremiah Tilmon's slam ignited an 8-0 run for the Tigers. It ended with Mark Smith draining a 3-pointer and Pinson adding a jumper to give the Tigers a 59-54 lead at the 2:03 mark.
Pickett, a reserve guard, entered the game averaging 5.3 points per game, but scored seven early points to give the Tigers an 18-10 lead with 8:05 remaining in the first half. Rose did the majority of the early scoring for the Owls, tallying eight of their first 12 points on 4-for-7 shooting.
Dru Smith buried a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left to give the Tigers a 33-27 halftime lead.
The Owls only trailed by six points at the half despite missing all five 3-point attempts and committing 11 turnovers. The Tigers shot 44.4 percent (12-for-27) but were slowed by foul trouble as five players had two fouls.
--Field Level Media