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Late surge lifts Mizzou past Northern Illinois

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Hoping to shake off the funk of Monday’s 14-point loss to Kansas City, Missouri flirted with another early-season stinker Thursday at Mizzou Arena. But a second-half spurt was enough to hold off Northern Illinois 54-37, behind an unlikely offensive force.

Jordan Wilmore, Mizzou’s 7-foot-3 sophomore center, came into the game with seven career points and finished with 11 on four dunks, including three crucial baskets during a 14-1 run that put the Tigers in charge for good. He added six rebounds and three blocks, both career-high figures.

The Tigers held the Huskies (1-2) to 24.