Key play: During the closing seconds, Missouri junior guard Jordan Clarkson knifed down the lane between a host of Southern Illinois defenders and put down his second dunk of the half, delivering a 35-34 halftime lead for the Tigers.
Key stat: Pick one Missouri got out-rebounded 22-20, the Tigers only shot 37.9 percent from the field (11 of 29) and 64.3 percent from the free-throw line (nine of 14). Each contributed to an all-around sluggish performance.
Key play: Clarkson hit a circus shot from the baseline, absorbing contact and rattling home a 5-foot runner. He then buried the and-one free throw, giving him a career-high 31 points. Clarkson scored 23 four times at Tulsa.
Key stat: Led by Clarkson, who went seven for 10 from the field, Missouri improved its shooting to 54.2 percent in the second half (13 of 24). Obviously, the more shots dropped, the more the Tigers managed to pull away.
Rosburg celebrates birthday in style
On the day he turned 20, Missouri sophomore forward Ryan Rosburg made his second career start and achieved a milestone with a career-high nine rebounds.
I told him to get me a dunk (for his birthday), but Ill take the nine boards and a win, junior Jabari Brown said. Im happy he played well. Coach (Tim) Fuller told him we were going to need him in the second half, and I felt like he stepped up and played strong down there.
Rosburg added two points and an assist in 24 minutes.
| Tod Palmer, email@example.com