|F||3||Johnathan Williams III||6-9||Fr.||6.1|
7 p.m. Wednesday at Mizzou Arena, Columbia
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KSMO (Ch. 62); KMBZ (980 AM, 98.1 FM)• ABOUT VANDERBILT (14-10, 6-6 SEC) :
After starting the conference season 1-4 (with that lone win coming against Missouri), the Commodores have rattled off five wins in the last seven games. Vanderbilt drilled a season-high 12 three-pointers while knocking off the Tigers in Nashville, Tenn., with seniors Rod Odom and Kyle Fuller combining for 46 points and 10 threes. Since that win, the Commodores have averaged only 5.4 threes and shot 26.9 percent from long range in nine games. Vanderbilt will need to rediscover its stroke to have a shot at sweeping the season series.
On the heels of the first three-game losing skid under coach Frank Haith, Missouri has won back-to-back games and again made it to .500 in SEC play. But the Tigers can’t stop now. With six games remaining before the conference tournament, Missouri almost certainly needs a minimum of four wins to solidify itself as an NCAA Tournament team. Junior Jabari Brown continues to light up the SEC. Despite going more than 22 straight minutes without a point in one stretch Saturday against Tennessee, he finished with a team-high 24, topping 20 points for the ninth time in the last 10 games.• BOTTOM LINE:
Missouri got excellent production from its frontcourt against the Volunteers. In conference play, the Tigers’ forwards and post players — senior Tony Criswell, junior Keanau Post, sophomore Ryan Rosburg and freshmen Johnathan Williams III and Torren Jones — had been averaging 14.3 points. Against Tennessee, that group combined for 29 points on 11 of 14 shooting. In the first meeting against Vanderbilt, Missouri’s interior players totaled 17 points on five of 15 shooting, so there is room to improve and help offset a 78-75 loss.