Photo by Max Arnold
Erik Kase, 23 Sports
Saturday, February 11—
After a close loss to Texas A&M on Wednesday, the Tigers came home to Mizzou Arena to play Vanderbilt, the SEC leader in 3-point percentage. Thanks to some hot shooting and good defense, Missouri (7-17, 2-10 SEC) came away with the 72-52 victory, giving Head Coach Kim Anderson his 300th career win.
Vanderbilt traded buckets with the Tigers to start the game as Kevin Puryear hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions. An 11-0 run by Missouri, capped off by a K.J. Walton free throw, gave the Tigers a 13-6 lead with 13:38 left in the first half.
A 3-pointer by Jordan Barnett with 10:38 left in the half was one of his three in the first half. Terrence Phillips was active as both a scorer and distributor. He hit a layup with 6:14 left in the half and then came back down the court on the next possession to assist on another Barnett 3-pointer.
As the Tigers took a 35-29 lead into the break, a little skirmish broke out between Jordan Geist and Vanderbilt’s Jeff Roberson. Both were assessed technical fouls. This energized both teams as they came out of the break and the game became much tighter.
Missouri relinquished their lead with 13:19 left to play, but kept the game close until Vanderbilt went cold. A layup by Vandy’s Nolan Cressler with 12:13 left would be the Commodores’ last bucket from the field.
During this cold streak, the Tigers got red hot. A steal and a layup by Phillips with 5:02 left in the game stretched Missouri’s lead to 11, and five straight points by Puryear made the lead insurmountable.
Barnett scored a game-high 23 points for the second game in a row, and joining him in double figure points was Puryear, Phillips, and Russell Woods. Missouri held Vanderbilt to 33.3 percent shooting and 21.4 percent from the 3-point line. Meanwhile, the Tigers shot 41.1 percent from the field and 47.4 percent from the 3-point line.
The Tigers will look to make it two straight wins as they take on Alabama on Wednesday. Tip off from Mizzou Arena is set for 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on the SEC Network.