NC Central rides free-throw edge to upset of Mizzou

Holding Missouri to 25 percent field goal shooting, North Carolina Central pulled off a 62-52 nonconference upset Monday night at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Mo.Despite hitting just 3 of 16 field-goal attempts, Patrick Cole turned in a 17-point, 12-rebound double-double for the Eagles (4-2). The 6-foot-5 Cole, who also dished out seven assists, helped seal the verdict by draining six consecutive free throws in the final minute.Junior guard Pablo Rivas came off the bench and scored 16 points for North Carolina Central, including two free throws with 2:34 left for a 54-48 advantage. The sequence also served to foul out the Tigers’ leading scorer, guard Terrence Phillips, who tallied 17 points in only 20 minutes.Dajuan Graf added 12 points for NC Central, which overcame 36.5 percent field-goal shooting by taking advantage of free throws. The Eagles were 18 of 23 at the stripe for the game, including a 13-of-15 showing in the second half, and outrebounded Missouri 46-43, deriving a 13-4 advantage in second chance points.Phillips was the only double-figure scorer for the Tigers (3-3). Missouri made only 7 of 27 3-point tries and was just 11 of 20 at the foul line.NC Central led for all but 1:38 of the game, taking a 24-20 edge into the locker room at halftime and gradually expanding the lead to 12 with 11:46 remaining in the game as Graf sank a pair of free throws.Missouri drew within 52-48 on two foul shots by Mitchell Smith with 3:01 left, and made it 54-50 when Kevin Puryear hit a layup at the 1:38 mark. However, the Eagles were able to wrap it up at the free-throw line.