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Missouri tops Western Michigan, extends home streak
Columbia, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Jabari Brown led a balanced scoring attack with 15 points as the 24th-ranked Missouri Tigers stayed unbeaten with a 66-60 victory over Western Michigan from Mizzou Arena.
Missouri (10-0) has had its way at home under Frank Haith, improving to 40-1 under the third-year head coach. The Tigers also extended the nation's best home winning streak to 25 games.
Earnest Ross and Jordan Clarkson donated 12 points apiece for Missouri, while Tony Criswell netted 10 off the bench.
"I do not think we needed a lift as much offensively as we needed our energy," said Criswell. "I tried to bring as much energy as I could and I think that we picked it up as the game went on."
David Brown scored a game-high 18 points on 5-of-17 shooting for Western Michigan (5-4), which lost its second straight tilt. Shayne Whittington went for 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Taylor Perry went scoreless with 11 boards.
The Broncos kept it close despite shooting 30 percent from the floor and 5- of-24 (20.8 percent) from the arc.
"It was obviously a tough, heart-felt game, and physical," said Western Michigan head coach Steve Hawkins. "I thought Mizzou did a nice job on us defensively there too, but we didn't shoot great."
WMU turned a nine-point halftime deficit into a 35-33 Missouri advantage early in the third when Austin Richie capped a 7-0 burst with a 3 at 17:12.
The Tigers' remained at two midway through the second stanza when Wes Clark's 3 sparked an 11-1 Missouri charge. Criswell knocked down a pair of jumpers during the surge as the Tigers built a 58-46 lead.
The reigning MAC West Division champs kept it competitive. Trailing 65-58 with less than a minute left, Connar Tava drove left and dunked for a five-point margin. Brown missed a free throw on the other end, but WMU took too much time off the clock on its ensuing touch, and David Brown missed a triple to seal the Broncos' fate.
Missouri has started 10-0 twice in the last three seasons but just three times in the last 32 ... This was the first meeting between the two schools ... Tava scored 10 points ... The Tigers will not play another home game until Jan. 4 against Long Beach State.
12/15 22:03:34 ET
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