COLUMBIA — Missouri scored the games first eight points and took control early Monday in the second game of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Invitational against IUPUI at Mizzou Arena.
By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
The Tigers, who were playing without suspended coach Frank Haith for the final time, were never really threatened though IUPUI did draw as close as seven points in the second half during a 78-64 victory that raised their record to 5-0.
The mission was to go 5-0 during this period, and we did that, so we accomplished that mission, said associate coach Tim Fuller, who has been the interim coach in Haiths absence.
That left much of the evenings drama in the stands, where the smallest crowd of the season (6,056) was on hand to watch juniors Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson light up the Jaguars, 1-5.
Brown scored a game- and career-high 24 points, while Clarkson finished with 22 points.
We came here to be scorers and make plays for others, so its kind of one of those things weve just got to go out and do, Clarkson said.
Of course, it wasnt exactly an unexpected result against an IUPUI team with an RPI of 341 among 351 NCAA Division I teams.
Freshman Johnathan Williams III added his first career double-double, 10 points and 10 rebounds, while senior Earnest Ross chipped in nine points and nine rebounds for Missouri, which started the season with five straight wins for the third time in four seasons.
Still, the game seems destined to be remembered for the ejection of the Antlers, an unsanctioned student support group.
We have high expectations for our students and our staff at the University of Missouri, Tigers athletic director Mike Alden said. Our core values are respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence. It is critically important that we represent those values every day in everything that we do.
The Antlers, who were ejected before Saturdays game against Gardner-Webb, were escorted from the arena for the second straight game, with 14 minutes, 48 seconds remaining in the second half.
The cop in the hospitality room said that in this day and age you cant have sexual references in what you yell, according to The Antlers Twitter account.
On Twitter, The Antlers said they were ejected for a chant containing sexual references, which crossed a line in the judgment of university officials.
We just want to make sure everyone is representing the university with class, said Alden, who would not comment on whether The Antlers would be welcome at Missouris next home game, Dec. 5 against West Virginia.
Missouri released a list of offensive chants The Antlers have used this season, many of which contained sexual and homophobic references.
But the head of the Antlers, Emmett DeLaney, told the Columbia Daily Tribune that his group was ejected for chants he said were not on the offensive list they discussed with MU.
As police officers escorted The Antlers away from the court, the remaining fans rained down a chorus of boos.
Back to the game ... Missouri failed to connect on any first-half threes against Gardner-Webb, but Brown hit four of his five threes in the first half as Missouri built a 47-34 halftime lead.
Haith, who has been suspended since Nov. 8, will return to practice today and return to the sideline Thursday when the Tigers battle Northwestern as the Las Vegas Invitational continues.
I really enjoyed playing for coach Fuller, Brown said. He brought me here, but I love coach Haith as well, and everybody will be excited to have him back.