Coming off the Bench

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COLUMBIA - After sitting on the bench for all of last season, Missouri forward Laurence Bowers was more than ready to get back on the court and join his teammates.

Bowers ran onto the court wearing his Mizzou uniform for the first time in almost 20 months and couldn't be happier, "I feel great as far as a physical standpoint, it's just getting back in the flow."

The senior forward wasn't the only player on the team that was excited to rejoin the lineup. Junior guard Phil Pressey was ecstatic saying, "it feels good because, I mean I played with him my freshman year and once he got hurt last year, I guess it was like a blessing in disguise."

In his first game back Bowers scored 14 points and grabbed 3 rebounds after shooting 6-of-8. Everyone welcomed his presence, including Frank Haith who seemed to be the happiest of all.

"I mean he's a talented guy, a talented player, and he's getting better and better. It's about timing because he's taken a whole year off. His knee is perfect, 100 percent," Haith stated afterwards.

The 91-58 victory over Northwest Missouri State was not all about Bowers. Two fresh faces, Keion Bell and Earnest Ross brought the fans to their on more than one occasion. Ross and Bell combined for 42 points in their first appearance wearing Mizzou uniforms.

Ross led the team with a career high 22 points shooting 6-of-10 from beyond the arch. Ross wants to continue to practice shooting saying, "being able to knock down open shots is going to be important for this team. It's something I take pride in that I have to do and lock down defensively."

The Tigers finish off their exhibition games Sunday night when they taken on Missouri Southern at Mizzou Arena.