Brown, Ross and Clarkson Combine For 61 as Mizzou Dispatches Davidson

By Tyler Murry, 23 Sports

Tuesday, March 18-

The No. 2 Missouri men’s basketball team topped No. 7 Davidson in the first round of the National Invitational Tournament. Mizzou’s trio of Jabari Brown, Earnest Ross and Jordan Clarkson combined for 61 points as the Tigers won 85-77 to move on to the second round of NIT play.

A lack of depth has plague the Tigers the entire season and it would be a similar case headed into Tuesday’s matchup.  News over the weekend about Wes Clark and Shane Rector being charged with marijuana possession led to suspensions.  In addition, Tony Criswell was previously suspended for late payments on rent. An injury to Corey Haith gave Mizzou just eight players to dress for its game against Davidson.

As a result, the Tigers had a difficult start to the game, going down 15-10 early with a jumper by De’Mon Brooks, who led Davidson with 29 points. Brown began to take over at the 12-minute mark in the first half as he converted on a three-point play before adding a pair of free throws for five of his game-leading 30 points.

Brown’s efforts on the offensive end were overcome late in the first half as Brooks and the Wildcats roared back.  Brooks collected six points in under three minutes of play to put Davidson up 34-29 before Chris Czerapowicz his a key three-pointer to give the Wildcats a 41-37 lead at the half.

In the second half, Davidson extended its lead to nine before Keanu Post dropped a big dunk off the feed from Clarkson to cut the lead to seven.  The bench play by Post and Torren Jones helped Mizzou weather the early Davidson surge.

With about 14 minutes left in regulation, Mizzou’s big three of Ross, Clarkson and Brown began to take over. They combined for 26 of Mizzou’s 39 points to end the game and Clarkson hit a huge trey to put the Tigers within one with 7:22 left in play.

Missouri took the lead off of a layup by Jonathan Williams III and then again with a jumper by Ross. Brooks took over again for the Wildcats converting on a three point play to give Davidson a 72-71 lead.  With five minutes left, Brown converted on a pair of free throws and Missouri would take the lead for good.  Clarkson hit a jumper with under two minutes left to seal the deal, giving Missouri a commanding six-point lead.

Missouri’s next game in the NIT tournament is against the winner of Southern Mississippi and Toledo. That game will be at Mizzou Arena on March 23.