GAME NOTES: The Missouri Tigers will close out a three-game homestand at Mizzou Arena on Wednesday night, as they play host to the Vanderbilt Commodores in SEC action.
Vanderbilt had been losers of two straight games prior to its Saturday afternoon bout in which it edged Texas A&M at home, 57-54 in overtime. The Commodores are 14-10 overall this season and 6-6 in the SEC, but they have gone just 2-5 on the road.
Missouri has bounced back from a three-game losing streak to open up February by winning each of its first two games during its homestand, downing Arkansas on Feb. 13 (86-85) and Tennessee on Saturday afternoon (75-70). The Tigers' recent run has allowed them to improve to 18-7 overall, 6-6 in the league and 12-2 at home.
Vanderbilt bested Missouri in the first meeting this season, 78-75 on Jan. 16, to take a 4-3 lead in the all-time series.
The Commodores never led in regulation of their most recent game and trailed by 11 with under six minutes to play before reeling off a 16-5 run down the stretch, culminating in a game-tying jumper by Rod Odom, and in the extra session they claimed an early lead and never surrendered it. They shot only 30.9 percent from the field but held Texas A&M to only 36.7 percent shooting and outscored it at the foul line, 20-9. James Siakam knocked down 12-of-14 at the free-throw line en route to a team-high 16 points to go with 10 rebounds. Damian Jones also tallied a double-double with 10 points and 13 boards, while Kyle Fuller put up 12 points.
On the season, Vanderbilt has impressed on the defensive end of the floor by allowing just 65.4 ppg. but its effort on offense (66.6 ppg) has been lackluster and it lives in the red in terms of turnover (-2.4) and rebounding (-1.3) margins. Odom pours in 14.7 ppg and has knocked down 71 3-pointers at a 42-percent clip. Fuller scores 12.1 ppg and dishes out 4.3 apg, while Jones mans the paint with 11.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg and 1.4 bpg.
The Tigers battled back-and-forth within five points of Tennessee for the majority of their latest bout but managed to pull away late in the contest to secure the six-point victory, as they outshot the Volunteers from the field on the afternoon, 56.5 percent to 40 percent, and they connected on 20-of-26 from the free-throw line. Jabari Brown was the catalyst in the victory with 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field, while Earnest Ross and Johnathan Williams netted 15 and 10 points, respectively.
Missouri has grown accustomed to posting well-rounded efforts this season, as it shoots 46.4 percent from the field for 75.3 ppg, while allowing just 69.2 ppg on just 40.2 percent shooting. It also owns a +5.7 rebounding margin and has been effective from the stripe (.734), but its one glaring weakness comes in the turnover battle (-1.6). Brown is the SEC's second-leading scorer with 20.5 ppg on outstanding percentages from the field (.498), 3-point range (.457) and the free-throw line (.808). Jordan Clarkson joins Brown in the backcourt and has also been great this season (18.7 ppg, 3.4 apg) and Ross (14.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg) rounds out one of the nation's best scoring trios.
Vanderbilt has been a tough squad this season, but on the road, expect it to be outmatched by the well-rounded Tigers.
Game Date and Time