Carroll scores 23 despite foul problems in Missouri opener
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP)—DeMarre Carroll had a big debut for Missouri that could have been a lot bigger.
Carroll had 23 points and eight rebounds despite foul trouble that limited him to 21 minutes in Missouri’s 87-76 opening victory over Central Michigan on Monday night in the first round of the CBE Classic.
“Just think if he’s not in foul trouble,” coach Mike Anderson said. “But his energy is contagious.”
Leo Lyons added 18 points for the Tigers, who were 18-12 in Anderson’s first season. Missouri has won 19 in a row over nonconference opponents at home, dating to a loss to Sam Houston State in the 2005-06 opener.
Missouri got strong offensive games inside from Carroll, who was 10-for-12, and Lyons, who was 8-for-9. That helped the Tigers overcome 4-for-21 3-point shooting and Central Michigan’s 35-33 rebounding advantage.
Lyons had 12 points and all five of his rebounds in the second half, stepping up in Carroll’s absence.
“Some guys play as good as the jump shots and he’s playing for the wrong coach if he thinks that’s going to take place,” Anderson said. “In the second half I thought he played with a little more passion.”
The 6-foot-9 Lyons got a pep talk from Carroll early in the second half.
“I told him, ‘You’re the biggest dude on the court, you’re the most skilled dude on the court,”’ Carroll said. “You can take over, or we can lose our first game and people will look at me and Stefhon (Hannah) like we lost it, and in all honesty, it would be you.”
Hannah, Missouri’s top returning scorer with a 15-point average, had 10 points in 25 minutes and finished the game with four fouls.
Lyons said he just tried to play like Carroll.
“He was hot, so I had to go in and take his spot,” Lyons said. “I had to get everybody else involved because that’s something he does.”
Jeremy Allen had 17 points and hit three 3-pointers for Central Michigan, 13-18 last season in its first season under coach Ernie Zeigler. Chase Simon had 14 points and reserve Chris Kellermann added 13 for the Chippewas, picked to finish third in the Mid-American Conference West division.
The 6-foot-8 Carroll, a transfer from Vanderbilt who is Anderson’s nephew, dominated whenever he was on the floor. He picked up three fouls in only four minutes in the second half, fouling out with 3:23 to go, but still finished with the third-highest scoring debut in school history.
Anderson said Carroll was “really jacked up” for the game, and Carroll wasn’t arguing.
“It was totally different than the exhibitions,” Carroll said. “Five fouls, I couldn’t believe that.”
Carroll scored nine straight points during one stretch in the first half and was virtually unstoppable inside, going 10-for-12 with both misses coming on 3-point attempts in the first half.
“I’ve already talked to him about that,” Anderson said. “You didn’t see it anymore. Sometimes they won’t guard you, but there’s a reason why they won’t guard you.”
Carroll picked up his second and third fouls in the first three minutes of the second half, but Missouri extended its lead from six points to 13 without him.
Carroll led the third lineup Anderson has used in three games, including the school’s two exhibitions, which also likely is his long-term starting five. Matt Lawrence is the only other player to start all three, and Lyons, Keon Lawrence and Hannah each made their second start Monday.
Missouri plays Fordham, a 76-66 winner over Division II Central Missouri State, in the second round on Tuesday night, with the winner advancing to the tourney semifinals next Monday in Kansas City.