University of Missouri

Missouri-Alabama basketball preview

Updated: 2014-02-22T00:58:31Z

PNo.MissouriHt.Yr.PPG
F3Johnathan Williams III6-9Fr.6.1
F44Ryan Rosburg6-10So.4.9
G5Jordan Clarkson6-5Jr.18.8
G32Jabari Brown6-5Jr.20.1
G33Earnest Ross6-5Sr.14.3

PNo.AlabamaHt.Yr.PPG
F11Shannon Hale6-8Fr.8.0
C10Jimmie Taylor6-10Fr.2.4
G12Trevor Releford6-0Sr.19.0
G21Rodney Cooper6-1Sr.9.3
G32Retin Obasohan6-1So.10.0

• WHEN/ WHERE: 7 p.m. Saturday at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

• TV/RADI O: ESPN2; KMBZ (980 AM, 98.1 FM)

• ABOUT MISSOURI (19-7, 7-6 SEC) : The Tigers are making only their second trip to Tuscaloosa and the first since a 23-point loss in the second round of the 1996 Postseason NIT. … Missouri is riding a three-game win streak after outlasting Vanderbilt 67-64 on Wednesday night, but with a sixth straight NCAA Tournament berth still uncertain, now is the not the time for a stumble. … Juniors Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson continue to shoulder the scoring load along with senior Earnest Ross, but the Tigers’ freshmen trio of Wes Clark, Johnathan Williams III and Torren Jones combined for 18 points and 11 rebounds against the Commodores.

• ABOUT ALABAMA (10-16, 4-9 SEC): Everything begins with senior guard Trevor Releford, a Bishop Miege graduate, for the Crimson Tide. Despite drawing the opponents’ defensive focus each game, Releford ranks fifth in the SEC in scoring (19.0) and leads all Southeastern Conference guards with a 50.5 shooting percentage. He also leads the SEC in steals (2.2) and ranks fifth in three-point percentage (40.3). … Alabama is a much better team at home than on the road, so Missouri must limit turnovers to avoid the first-half doldrums that have occasionally plagued the Tigers.

• BOTTOM LINE: Missouri roughed up Alabama on Jan. 18 at Mizzou Arena. The 68-47 win remains the only SEC game decided by more than 10 points for the Tigers. Releford struggled in that first meeting, shooting four of 16 and finishing with only 10 points. But Missouri, which outscored the Tide 37-17 in the second half, shouldn’t count on another tepid performance from Releford or Alabama, which only shot four of 23 after halftime.

| Tod Palmer, tpalmer@kcstar.com

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