Missouri beats Valparaiso 56-41

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Wes Clark scored 16 points and Johnathan Williams III added 10 to help Missouri defeat Valparaiso 56-41 on Sunday. First-year coach Kim Anderson got his first win with the Tigers after losing to Missouri-Kansas City 69-61 on Friday, but it didn't come easily. Missouri (1-1) led 24-23 at halftime despite no player converting more than one field goal. The Tigers finally gained some separation with a 14-2 run to take a 41-29 lead with 9:47 remaining. Valparaiso never could get closer than seven the rest of the way. E. Victor Nickerson led the Crusaders (1-1) with 12 points while Alec Peters added seven. Peters earned All-Freshman honors in the Horizon League last year with 12.7 points per game, but only played 27 minutes against Missouri because of foul trouble. Both teams started 3 of 13 from the field, preventing either school from leading by more than five in the opening 20 minutes. But Missouri opened the second half making 10 of its first 18 shots, and finished 20 of 50 for the game. Clark, one of four holdovers from coach Frank Haith's team, finished with four of eight shooting for the Tigers but converted all six of his attempts from the free throw line. Freshman Montaque Gill-Caesar added nine points after leading the team with 21 in his collegiate debut. Valparaiso won its opener 90-76 against East Tennessee State on Friday thanks to 50 percent (26 of 52) shooting, including 10 of 18 from 3-point range. But the offense never could find a rhythm at Missouri without Peters consistently on the floor, finishing 33 percent (15 of 46) from the field. Peters collected two fouls in the first 2:55 and then another with 6:06 left in the opening half. He added a fourth 4 1/2 minutes after the break. TIP-INS Valparaiso: The Crusaders haven't defeated a major-conference team since Washington in 2008 and won't face another this regular season. They were picked to finish fourth in the Horizon League after finishing in the same position last year. Missouri: Attendance was announced at 5,369, slightly more than a third of Mizzou Arena's capacity, after about a half-inch of snow fell earlier in the day. . Freshman Jakeenan Gant missed his second consecutive game while the school reviews his eligibility. UP NEXT Valparaiso hosts Indiana-South Bend on Wednesday. Missouri hosts Oral Roberts on Wednesday.