By BLAIR KERKHOFF
The Kansas City Star
• Key play: Missouri was having its way early. West Virginia couldn’t get the ball inbounds from under its basket and called a timeout. Then the Mountaineers threw it away with Jabari Brown scooping up the loose ball and racing for a transition hoop that made it 7-0.
• Key stat: West Virginia missed its first eight shots, and 10 of 11 three-point attempts for the half.
• Key play: Jabari Brown blocked Eron Harris’ shot and started a fast break that ended with Jordan Clarkson’s slam that capped a 7-0 run early in the second half and sapped any drama from the contest.
• Key stat: West Virginia scored 31 points in the game’s final 9 minutes and made it a ball game.
New Missouri chancellor R. Bowen Loftin was introduced during a timeout in the first half. The former Texas A&M leader rocked a black-and-gold bow tie.
• Johnathan Williams III, who for the first time this season was held scoreless in the previous game against Nevada, made sure it wouldn’t happen again early. He scored Mizzou’s first basket. But he didn’t score again, finishing with two points and four rebounds.
• West Virginia coach Bob Huggins wasn’t surprised his team played hard down the stretch. “I’ve only had one team quit,” he said, referring to last season’s Mountaineers, who finished 13-19 overall and eighth in their first Big 12 season.
| Blair Kerkhoff, firstname.lastname@example.org