Missouri senior Keanau Post started for the first time this season and only the fourth time in his Tigers career Wednesday at Texas A&M.
Post started three games last season: against the Aggies and then-No. 1 Florida during the SEC tournament and versus Davidson in the NIT opener.
His recent play coupled with trying to match up against A&M’s Kourtney Roberson inside prompted coach Kim Anderson to give Post a start.
“I think he’s playing well,” Anderson said of Post. “I really do. … Playing a guy like Roberson, he had a big body, and I felt like we needed (Post’s) body out there.”
Even when Post was saddled with four fouls, Anderson stuck with him before he fouled out.
“To me, the game was slipping away, and I thought our best opportunity to win was to keep him out there,” Anderson said.
Post finished with four points, three blocks and two rebounds in 20 minutes.
▪ It was a career night scoring-wise for sophomore Wes Clark, who went seven of 11 overall and four of seven from three-point range en route to 18 points.
Clark’s previous career-high was 16 points against Valparaiso and Auburn earlier this season.
It was all a bit unexpected for Clark, who also had six assists with five steals and three turnovers despite being limited this week by a sprained ankle suffered late against Tennessee last Saturday.
“He sprained his ankle and he hasn’t really practiced very much, but I thought he made some plays,” Anderson said. “If you’re looking for a bright spot, he not only shot the ball pretty well, but I thought he made some plays coming off the picks and that’s something we kind of need.”
Clark joined Anthony Peeler, Phil Pressey and Stefhon Hannah as the only players in MU history with 18 points, six assists and five steals in a game.
▪ Junior Deuce Bello checked in during a TV timeout with 11:27 remaining, his first action since playing nine minutes on Dec. 20 against Illinois in the Braggin’ Rights Game in St. Louis.
Bello, a transfer from Baylor, was suspended for five games because of academic issues. He missed the Tennessee game with a sprained ankle.
▪ Key play: During a 10-2 run to close the half, sophomore Wes Clark delivered bookend three-pointers.
▪ Key stat: Missouri shot 52.2 percent from the field, including five of eight from three-point range against an A&M defense that was allowing opponents to shoot only 29.9 percent from long range.
▪ Key play: Junior Jalen Jones connected on a three-pointer with 15:02 remaining that gave Texas A&M a lead it would never relinquish.
▪ Key stat: Missouri didn’t shoot any free throws in the second half and were only two of five for the game. It’s the third straight game the Tigers have shot eight or fewer free throws.