Tilmon hits first career triple in win over Wofford

Tilmon is averaging 10.8 points and 5.1 rebounds per game this season.

During Missouri’s first half 3-point barrage against Wofford, it wasn’t just the usual suspects hitting from beyond the arc.

With 16 seconds still remaining on the shot clock, Jeremiah Tilmon — the 6-foot-10-inch junior center whose only previous career 3-point attempt came on a halfcourt heave against Vanderbilt last season — took one dribble at the top of the key and drained his first career triple.

“I was open,” Tilmon said. “I know I can make that shot. Coach [Cuonzo] Martin said as long as my feet set and it’s a good shot, I can take it.”

Martin’s reaction was different.

“It went in,” he said with a smile. “The catch and shoot, he’s worked on that. He dribbled and shot it. But to shoot it, not a problem at all.”

Tilmon said he finally pulled the trigger because of the media and his teammates who jokingly laugh when he refuses to shoot it.

“I hear it so much from y’all,” Tilmon said. “My teammates they out making fun of me. They always say I got opportunities in the game but I pump fake and pass. Today, I don’t know … I was shooting that mug.”

While his 3-pointer may have attracted the most attention, Tilmon dominated down low all game. He finished with 16 points on 6-7 shooting and five rebounds. Defensively, he was a part of a group that held Wofford without a field goal for the last 14 minutes of the game. But maybe the most important stat of the game is that Tilmon stayed out of foul trouble which kept him on the floor when the Tigers needed him.

“Before the game, I was just telling myself play hard, play smart and play calm,” Tilmon said. “I repeated it a hundred times in my head. During the game, that’s all I was thinking about.”

Tilmon’s 7 first half points forced the Wofford defenders to play help defense inside, leaving shooters open around the perimeter. Missouri went 6-12 from beyond the arc in the half and nine total.

“He’s a big part of the team,” redshirt freshman Parker Braun said. “I think we do a lot of things through him. He’s gotta touch the ball first and we can play around him because he’s such a force inside.”

Through five games, Tilmon is averaging 10.8 points and 5.1 rebounds — but will he shoot another 3-pointer?

“Most definitely,” Tilmon said. “If I’m open.”

Edited by Emily Leiker | eleiker@themaneater.com

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