By TOD PALMER
The Kansas City Star
• Key play: Missouri guard Jordan Clarkson picked up his second foul with 11:47 remaining and was forced to sit the rest of the half.
• Key stat: Alabama senior Trevor Releford had four points at halftime. He was one of six from the field, including one of four from three-point range.
• Key play: Clarkson jumped a passing lane and picked off Alabama sophomore Retin Obasohan for one of his five steals. Obasohan tracked down Clarkson and sent him sprawling with a hard foul to prevent a dunk, but Clarksons subsequent free throw extended Missouris lead to 48-34.
• Key stat: The Crimson Tide shot 17.4 percent in the second half, going four of 23 overall.
It was a frustrating day for Releford, a Bishop Miege graduate and the fourth-leading scorer in the Southeastern Conference.
Releford, who fouled out with 1:27 remaining, shot four of 16 from the field and finished with only 10 points, which is well below his season average (18.9).
Our team defense was outstanding on Releford, knowing where hes at, Missouri coach Frank Haith said. We understand how good a player he is, and I thought our guys did a really good job on him.
Releford wasnt surprised by anything the Tigers did.
As a senior, Ive seen everything, so I have to get used to it and learn how to adapt, Releford said. Next time, itll be a different story.
Releford even missed a free throw, which is significant because he had made 24 in a row before that miss. He entered play second in the nation at 93.1 percent and hadnt misfired since Dec. 21.
• Clarkson had scored six more points than junior Jabari Brown, but he relinquished the team scoring lead Saturday as Brown went off for a career-high 24 points and Clarkson finished with 16.
Brown has scored 319 points this season, while Clarkson has scored 317.
Both have reached double figures in scoring in all 17 games this season, which is the longest streak in Missouri history since Kareem Rush opened the 2000-01 season with 21 straight games of at least 10 points.
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