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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 29, 8:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Orleans Arena (9,500) -- Las Vegas, Nevada. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Nevada 1-2, Missouri 4-0. Away Record: Nevada 2-1, Missouri 0-0. Neutral Record: Nevada 0-1, Missouri 2-0. Conference Record: Nevada 0-0, Missouri 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Las Vegas Invitational continues on Friday night, as the Nevada Wolf Pack take on the Missouri Tigers at Orleans Arena.
After splitting its two preliminary-round games earlier this week in Reno -- beating Chattanooga (83-81) and losing to Morehead State (63-58) -- Nevada was welcomed to Vegas on Thursday night with a 105-84 defeat at the hands of UCLA to fall to 3-4 on the season.
Meanwhile, Missouri was successful in its Thanksgiving night contest, as it overcame a five-point deficit at halftime to claim a 78-67 decision over Northwestern. The victory for the Tigers keeps their perfect season alive, as they have won each of their first six games.
This bout marks the first-ever meeting between Nevada and Missouri on the hardwood.
Although Nevada had a solid scoring output on Thursday, shooting 45 percent from the field including 11-of-24 from 3-point range, it had no answer for UCLA on the other end, as the Bruins shot a blistering 60.7 percent. Jerry Evans, Jr. and Deonte Burton shined despite the setback with 20 points apiece, and the duo combined to drain seven 3-pointers. Michael Perez was also impressive with 18 points, while Marqueze Coleman came off the bench to tally 11 points and three steals.
The Wolf Pack have been impressive at the offensive end of the court this season, shooting nearly 45 percent from the field for 74.4 points per game, but unfortunately they cannot stop anyone at the end other, allowing 78.7 ppg on 49.5 percent field goal efficiency. Burton has established himself as an elite scorer in the early going, netting 23.9 points per game on 50 percent from the field, while also handing out a team-high 20 assists. Perez (12.0 ppg) and Evans, Jr. (11.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg) are solid complementary pieces.
After shooting a modest 47.6 percent from the floor in the first half of its latest bout, Missouri improved to 60 percent after the break as it ran past Northwestern. It also dominated the glass with a 35-19 rebounding advantage. Pacing four players in double figures was Jordan Clarkson, who scored 21 points on 9-of-14 from the field. Jabari Brown tallied 15 points and eight assists, while Johnathan Williams and Ryan Rosburg poured in 14 points apiece.
The Tigers' perfect start to the season has been well represented in both their lofty scoring (+15.8) and rebounding (+11.3) margins. They shoot greater than 51 percent from the field, and while their .671 free-throw percentage could stand to improve, they have taken more than 18 attempts from the line per game. Clarkson has made his mark in his first season with the team by leading the way with 19.2 points per game on 54.1 percent field goal shooting. Brown (18.5 ppg) has also been outstanding, as he has drained 17-of-38 from beyond the arc. Earnest Ross (11.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg) and Williams (8.5 ppg, 9.0 rpg) are both mainstays in the frontcourt.
After beating up on some soft competition early in the season, Missouri showed on Thursday in defeating a strong Northwestern team that its undefeated start has been warranted. The Tigers have been red-hot from the floor and possess a deep bench filled with plenty of scoring options, meaning they shouldn't have a problem moving to 7-0 against an up-and-down Nevada squad.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Missouri 88, Nevada 74
11/29 10:50:17 ET