Kevin Puryear scored 17 points, and Missouri pulled ahead in the final two minutes to beat Kennesaw State 55-52 on Friday at the Paradise Jam tournament.
Jeremiah Tilmon added 12 points for the Tigers (2-1), who will face Oregon State in Sunday’s semifinals at the University of the Virgin Islands’ Sports and Fitness Center.
Missouri led by as many as 11 points in the first half, but the Owls (1-3) rallied to tie it at 50 on Kosta Jankovic’s jumper with 2:32 remaining. Jordan Geist hit a pair of free throws with 1:42 left to put the Tigers back in the lead.
Kennesaw State had two chances to tie it or take the lead, but Tyler Hooker missed a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left, and the Owls turned it over, leading to Mark Smith’s layup with 6.9 seconds left.
Hooker and Jankovic finished with 13 points each, and Kyle Clarke added 10 points for Kennesaw State, which plays Old Dominion in Saturday’s consolation game.