Missouri overcomes first half shooting troubles, beats Vanderbilt 67-64

Story by: Cody Mroczka
Photos by: Michael Losch

Missouri forward Torren Jones (24) attempts a shot over a Vanderbilt defender. Jones finished the game with four points, four rebounds and three steals in 18 minutes of action for the Tigers.

Missouri forward Torren Jones (24) attempts a shot over a Vanderbilt defender. Jones finished the game with four points, four rebounds and three steals in 18 minutes of action for the Tigers.

COLUMBIA – It wasn’t pretty.

Shots kept falling short, more than a couple missing everything. The ones too long clanked off the rim and bounced in every direction. What seemed like routine passes, tipped off fingers and landed out of bounds. It wasn’t the defense, just an off night for both teams.

For the first half between Missouri (19-7, 7-6 Southeastern Conference) and Vanderbilt (14-11, 6-7 SEC), it seemed like neither team was going to make it to 50 points on Wednesday at Mizzou Arena. The Commodores led 21-20 going into the break. The 20 points were the lowest the Tigers had scored in a half all season.

“I didn’t expect to hold them to 20 in the half,” Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings semi-joked. “I’ve seen us get 21, that’s not unexpected.”

Neither team could buy a basket in the first half. Not even Missouri’s leading scorer Jabari Brown, who finished the half with one make on six attempts. Both teams headed to the locker room shooting just 33 percent and combining for 11 turnovers, six for Missouri and five for Vanderbilt.

“It wasn’t the prettiest of games,” Missouri coach Frank Haith said. “Winning is hard.”

The game opened up a bit in the second half for Missouri. By the 10-minute mark, both teams had doubled their first half point totals. The game stayed close until an Earnest Ross 3-pointer with 5:21 remaining put the Tigers up 54-51 and ahead for good.

With 1:30 remaining Vanderbilt trailed 61-53. Over the next 70 seconds, the Commodores would cut the lead to two, thanks to four missed free throws from the Tigers. With 2 seconds remaining and down 67-64, Vanderbilt guard Kyle Fuller grabbed a rebound from Wes Clark’s missed free throw and chucked it the length of the court. While in flight, it looked like Fuller was about to extend a game that didn’t need to be extended. The ball smacked the backboard and careened off the rim.

It was just that kind of night for jump shots. The ones that looked like they were going in didn’t and the ones that looked like bricks somehow managed to find the bottom of the net.

The oddest numbers came from the stars of the teams.

Brown finished three of 11 from the field and missed three free throws, a rare mediocre shooting performance for the SEC’s scoring leader during conference play.

“I think it was a solar eclipse tonight or something,” Missouri guard Jordan Clarkson said about Brown. “He is a human like everybody else.”

Things were worse for Vanderbilt. Forward Rod Odom and Fuller, the Commodore’s two leading scorers, finished the game a combined four of 25 from the field.

After the final whistle blew, the only number that mattered was 19. The numbers of wins Missouri now has.

About these ads

2 responses to “Missouri overcomes first half shooting troubles, beats Vanderbilt 67-64

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,666 other followers

%d bloggers like this: