Also scoring in double figures for second-seeded Missouri (23-11) were Earnest Ross and Jordan Clarkson with 16 and 15 points, respectively, the former also pulling down six rebounds, handing out three assists and making three steals for the hosts.
The seventh-seeded Wildcats (20-13) were paced by De'Mon Brooks who dropped in 29 points and cleared seven rebounds before fouling out. Tyler Kalinoski pitched in with 16 points, six boards and six assists, followed by Chris Czerapowicz with 10 points before he too picked up his fifth personal.
Both sides shot the ball well from the field in the first half, but even though Missouri connected on 55.6 percent overall, the team was just 1-of-5 behind the 3-point line, resulting in a 41-37 deficit at the break.
Davidson's lead reached as high as 13 points just over three minutes into the second half, but the Tigers refused to back down and used a sizzling 60.9 percent accuracy from the floor and 19-of-25 at the free-throw line over the final 20 minutes to secure the win.
In a game that featured nine ties and eight lead changes, Missouri thrived at the charity stripe where it outscored the visitors, 25-12.
With the victory, Missouri advances to the second round of the tourney and will face the winner of the Toledo/Southern Miss meeting tomorrow night.