KANSAS CITY — Missouri dug itself into trouble early in the opening game of the Hall of Fame Classic.
After Kobe Brown swished a 3-pointer on the Tigers’ initial possession, Butler scored the next 15 points to hold a nearly continuous double-digit lead Monday night.
"We just dug ourselves a hole there," Missouri guard Dru Smith said.
Missouri never truly got back within striking distance of the Bulldogs and fell 63-52 at the Sprint Center.
The Tigers are scheduled to play in the consolation game at 6 p.m. Tuesday against the loser of Oklahoma and Stanford, which played later Monday. Butler faces the winner in the championship game.
Missouri falls to 4-2 overall and 0-2 away from home this season, with its other loss at ranked Xavier.
“You have to get past it as fast as you can,” Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin said. “... It’ll sting, learn from it, but you have to get past it.”
Smith led all scorers with 19 points, while Xavier Pinson finished with 10 and Brown added nine. No other Tiger had more than four points.
Kamar Baldwin and Bryce Goldwin each netted 13 points to pace Butler to the victory.
Butler improves to 6-0 with the early knockout of Missouri. The Bulldogs made six of the first seven shots and 10 of the opening 13. The Bulldogs led for the final 38:39 of the game.
“They were moving the ball well, they were slipping out of all our screens,” Smith said. “It was something that we had talked about, but it was something that we didn't handle very well there in those first eight minutes. They got a lot of wide-open shots."
Butler went up by as many as 18 in the first half, but Missouri forced 14 turnovers to keep the game from getting completely out of reach. The Tigers trailed 38-26 at halftime but pulled to within nine points in the second half.
Missouri again went cold from 3-point range, shooting 2 of 11 (18.2%) in the defeat.
MU starters Jeremiah Tilmon and Javon Pickett were both held scoreless in 28 minutes of combined action.
Tilmon sat out long portions of the game with foul trouble, picking up two quick fouls in the first half and another in the opening moments after halftime.