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(Tuesday, January 8th)
Final Score: (10) Missouri 84, Alabama 68
Columbia, MO (Sports Network) - Jabari Brown netted 22 points and No. 10 Missouri earned its first-ever SEC victory with a convincing 84-68 triumph over the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Brown connected on 5-of-7 shots from beyond the arc for the Tigers (12-2, 1-0 SEC), who left the Big 12 after winning the conference's final championship last season.
"Obviously it's a great win for us," said Missouri coach Frank Haith. "I thought we had a workman-like attitude there in terms of how we played in the second half. We weren't turning the ball over; we did great job with that and I thought we really executed, particularly down the stretch offensively. And we made enough defensive stops. Great win for us, great first SEC win, really proud of our guys."
Alex Oriakhi and Phil Pressey each posted double-doubles, with Oriakhi finishing with 16 points and 10 boards, while Pressey totaled 11 points and 13 assists in the victory, Missouri's eighth straight at home.
Laurence Bowers poured in 16 points, but left the game in the second half with a knee injury and did not return.
Trevor Releford notched a game-high 26 points for the Crimson Tide (8-6, 0-1), who have dropped six of their past eight games.
"Give Missouri credit. I thought they fought in the first half and really set the tone of the game," said Alabama coach Anthony Grant. "I was proud of our guys the way they fought back and took the lead briefly."
Rodney Cooper and Devonta Pollard followed with 11 and 10 points, respectively, in defeat.
The Tigers, who shot 56.6 percent from the field -- including a strong 9-of-15 from 3-point range -- proved to be too much for Alabama to handle in the second half.
After taking a four-point edge into the second stanza, Missouri extended its margin to 51-44 following back-to-back triples from Brown and Ross.
After a Trevor Lacey 3-pointer at the 14:39 mark to pull Alabama within 53-49, the Crimson Tide went cold from the field and failed to make a shot for nearly seven minutes, allowing the Tigers to create a double-digit margin.
Alabama pulled within six at 65-59 on a Releford triple, but never came any closer.
Oriakhi finished a three-point play and Ross and Brown followed with layups to push the Tigers' edge to 72-61 and they led by double-digits the rest of the way.
The Tigers opened up a 15-5 advantage early following Bowers' three-point play and a 3-pointer from Ross, but the Crimson Tide responded with 14-2 push to take the lead.
Releford began the surge with a pair of free throws and gave Alabama a 19-17 edge with his free throw after drawing a foul on a driving score.
However, Missouri went back in front for the rest of half following a trio of Jabari Brown 3-pointers, giving the Tigers a two-point edge at the 3:21 mark before heading into halftime with a 40-36 lead.
Missouri improved to 76-4 at home since the beginning of the 2008-09 season ... Alabama fell to 1-4 on the road this season and are just 20-54 away from home since the start of the 2005-06 campaign ... The Crimson Tide have lost 10 straight games to ranked opponents and have dropped two in a row to Missouri, but still lead the all-time series 4-2.
01/08 22:58:07 ET
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