Feb. 13, 2014
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Junior guard Jabari Brown hit a go-ahead floater in the lane with 11 seconds left to help the Missouri men's basketball team to a thrilling 86-85 victory over Arkansas on Thursday night at Mizzou Arena. The win snapped a three-game losing streak and gives the Tigers (17-7, 5-6) a season sweep over their rivals.
Mizzou was led by Jordan Clarkson's 27 points, and Brown (25) topped the 20-point threshold for the seventh time in eight outings. The Tigers benefitted from a perfect 19-for-19 effort from the free-throw line in the first half, matched a school record by hitting their first 23 tosses, and finished 34-of-38 for the game (89.%).
It was a back-and-forth affair throughout the entire game. Arkansas held a 26-22 advantage at the 9:53 mark of the first half, but Missouri answered with an 8-0 run sparked by forward Tony Criswell. The 6-foot-9 senior ripped down an offensive rebound and converted a tough layup in traffic that shifted the momentum. He finished with six points and six rebounds off the bench and helped Missouri own a 40-34 edge on the glass.
Arkansas fought back to retake a 33-32 lead with 5:50 left in the half, but Brown caught fire and manufactured a 7-0 run by himself. After nailing a contested step-back jumper, Brown buried a deep, pull-up three-pointer in transition. He scored 16 of his 25 in the first half and Missouri took a 48-42 lead into the break.
Earnest Ross opened up the second-half scoring with a trey from the corner that handed the Tigers a seven-point advantage. Ross earned his third double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The Razorbacks answered swiftly, putting together a 12-5 run that tied the game at 63-63 with just under 12 minutes remaining. The two teams continued to trade baskets until Wes Clark knocked down a clutch three-pointer late in the shot clock that gave the Tigers a six-point cushion. Clarkson followed with a hard drive to the bucket for an easy deuce on the next possession, and Missouri led 81-73 with 4:11 left in the game.
Arkansas refused to go away, erasing the deficit by the 1:50 mark. After a layup from Mardracus Wade, the Razorbacks regained an 85-83 lead. Clarkson earned a trip to the free throw line with less than a minute left, but converted only one of two to pull Mizzou within one. An Arkansas turnover on the following possession set up Brown's game-winner and the Razorbacks failed to score in the final seconds.
Missouri continues its three-game homestand Saturday against Tennessee in the Tigers' annual Blackout game. Tip off is set for 3 p.m.
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