ST. LOUIS — ST. LOUIS (AP) — Kobe Brown set career highs with 31 points and eight assists, and D’Moi Hodge added 20 points to lead Missouri to a 93-71 victory over No. 16 Illinois in their annual neutral site contest Thursday night.
Brown’s 31 points were the most in school history against Illinois.
Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 22 points and Matthew Mayer added 16, but Illinois (8-4) has dropped two of three contests since upsetting then-No. 2 Texas on Dec. 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
DeAndre Gholston added 15 points and Ronnie DeGray III scored 10 for Missouri (11-1), which scored 33 points off 16 Illinois turnovers while the Illini managed 10 points off 10 Tigers turnovers.
Missouri scored the first six points. Illinois recovered to take a 12-10 lead, but that was the last lead of the night for the Illini.
Missouri then outscored Illinois 41-15 for the remainder of the first half, including 15-0 and 10-0 runs.
Missouri opened up its largest lead of the night when Hodge hit a layup to put the Tigers up 76-41 with 12:14 remaining in the second half.
The announced attendance of 18,452 is the first sellout in this matchup in St. Louis since 2017. The teams faced each other in Columbia, Missouri in 2020 without fans in attendance due to COVID-19.
Illinois: The Illini continue to struggle to find offense, with the returning players on Brad Underwood's squad accounting for just 13.9% of Illinois' scoring last season.
Missouri: The Tigers finished non-conference play with an 11-1 record under first-year coach Dennis Gates, with their only loss coming to No. 4 Kansas on Dec. 10.
Illinois: Hosts Bethune-Cookman next Thursday in its last non-conference game before resuming Big Ten play.
Missouri: Hosts No. 19 Kentucky on Wednesday to open SEC play.