Mizzou Pounds Bulldogs to Grab Elusive Road Win

Wednesday, Feb. 13-

A win is a win, and at this point in the season the Missouri Tigers will take any win they can get, especially if it’s on the road. Unranked for the first time this season, Mizzou seemed to take out its frustrations on Mississippi State at Humphrey Coliseum, routing the Bulldog 78-36.

Missouri’s defense wasn’t incredibly impressive in the first half, but against the Bulldogs it was more than enough. Mississippi State settled for jump shots early, and opened the game 0-11 before knocking down a three at the 10:38 mark.

Meanwhile on offense, the Tigers opened the game on a 14-0 run, turning the missed shots into easy points on the other end of the floor. Early in the game, Jabari Brown carried the offensive load, scoring eight of Missouri’s first 14 points.

After Brown’s early spurt, Keion Bell, who has been coming on lately scoring double digits in seven straight games, went on a tear and scored 16 first half points. The majority of Bell’s points came via lay-ups as his physicality created major issues for the Bulldogs.

At the end of the first half the score was 34-10.

Missouri’s offense, which never really got into a solid groove in the first half, seemed to find a balanced rhythm in the second frame, as the team moved the ball well and incorporated everyone into the attack.

However, Brown found himself as the focal of the offense when his jump shots began to fall. With the Tigers leading 42-23, Brown single-handedly went on a 9-0 run, all of the points coming via long jumpers. The run was capped off with a four-point play.

The defense, while allowing more second half points, improved in the sense that the Tigers hands became more active. Mizzou’s backcourt was able to pressure the Mississippi State offense into ¬¬10 second half turnovers, which led to plays like Bell’s emphatic 360-degree slam.

In a game filled with little suspense, Tiger fans were left to sweat when Earnest Ross rolled his ankle at around the 12-minute mark. The injury, which left Ross with a noticeable limp, will be something to monitor in the coming days.

Meanwhile, the blowout status was solidified when Stefan Jankovic, the sharp-shooting freshman forward, came off the bench and knocked down back-to-back trifectas putting the score at 71-27.

From thereon out, the bench came in and closed out the game as the Tigers gathered their first SEC road win.

With a monkey lifted from their backs, the Tigers will search for a second road victory at 3 p.m. Saturday against the Arkansas Razorbacks in Fayetteville, Ark.

-Samuel Snow
23 Sports
Staff Writer