Bowers Injured in Mizzou’s First SEC Victory

Tuesday, Jan. 8-

In its SEC debut, the No. 10 Missouri men’s basketball team clinched an 84-68 victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide on Tuesday night. Despite a wobbly first half, the Tigers regained their composure and slowly pulled away from the Tide in the second half behind a total team effort.

Mizzou started out strong with a 10-0 run early in the game. But shaky plays from junior guard Phil Pressey resulted in four turnovers and a scoring drought allowed the Crimson Tide to answer with a 12-0 run. Alabama seized its first lead around the nine minute mark of the first half.

The Tide’s junior guard Trevor Releford, a Kansas City native, scored 19 points in the initial 20 minutes, tallying more than half of his team’s first half points. He finished the game with a career-high 26.

By the start of the second half, the Tigers owned a slim 40-36 lead. With a collective effort from several members of the team, Missouri was able to stretch the advantage to double digits.

Sophomore guard Jabari Brown started out the second half with two straight three-pointers, followed by another three-pointer from junior guard Earnest Ross. Brown finished the game with a career-high 22 points, sinking five three-pointers. Ross also contributed an impressive 19 points.

Pressey, named SEC player of the week on Monday, played better in the second half with key assists, and finished the game with 11 points and 13 dimes. It was his third double-double of the season. Senior forward Alex Oriakhi added 11 points and six rebounds in the second frame.

Senior forward Laurence Bowers also contributed heavily to the Tigers win especially in the rocky first half, in which he scored 12 of his 16 points. Yet around the five-minute mark in the second half, Bowers hurt his right knee after a collision under the basket. He left the game hobbling, and could not return to the game.

An MRI on Wednesday revealed the fifth-year veteran has a sprained MCL. He will sit out the next two contests against Mississippi and Georgia until further evaluation.

The Tigers head to Ole Miss for their first SEC road game. The game tips off at 7 p.m. Saturday.

-Joyce Peng
23 Sports
Staff Writer