No matter how Wednesday night ended, Missouri men's basketball knew it would have a lot to work on before heading to Kansas City early next week.

The Tigers didn’t have their best effort against Morehead State, as the game remained close deep into the second half.

But Missouri did enough to stay undefeated at home this season with a 70-52 victory over the resilient Eagles.

The Tigers improve to 4-1 overall, while previously undefeated Morehead State falls to 4-1.

Morehead State’s best win coming into the matchup came against Samford, which is ranked No. 157 on KenPom among more than 350 Division I teams.

Missouri guard Mark Smith led all scorers with 21 points, including a 7 of 9 mark from the field.

“Mark’s a physical guy, he's a strong driver,” Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin said. “The biggest key: He drove it with power.”

Dru Smith was the only other Tiger in double figures with 11 points. Jordan Walker led Morehead State with 14.

The Missouri trio of Tray Jackson, Mitchell Smith and Mario McKinney all saw action early in the first half after none played Monday against Wofford. Jackson led the MU bench with seven points.

The Tigers have held each opponent this season to 63 points or less, but they shot just 18% from 3-point range, finishing the contest 4-for-22.

Mark Smith swished 3-pointers on Missouri's first two possessions of the game and finished 3 of 5 from behind the arc. The rest of MU went 1 of 17 combined. Dru Smith sunk the lone other trey. Missouri shot 40.4% from the field on the night.

“In the first half, I think some — not all — were good looks from 3,” Martin said. “I thought for the most part in the first half, they were easy 3s, meaning you settle for that shot as opposed to work and feed. I thought we shot too many off-the-dribble 3s in the first half.”

Martin said his team may have been enticed to shoot dribble 3s because of how Morehead State guarded ball screens, going the long way around instead of attempting to cut through.

The Tigers faced the Eagles in their nonconference finale last season, with Morehead State similarly not allowing MU to pull away until late.

Xavier Pinson exited the contest in the second half Wednesday after he attempted to grab a rebound and fell to the floor. The Tigers guard went to the bench under his own power before getting a more in-depth look from team doctors. Martin didn’t provide an update on Pinson after the game.

Missouri returns to action at 6 p.m. Monday for the opening game of the College Basketball Hall of Fame Classic against Butler at the Sprint Center. MU will play either Stanford or Oklahoma on Tuesday night at the same venue.

The Tigers' next game at Mizzou Arena is Dec. 3 against Charleston Southern.

eblum@columbiatribune.com