Saturday, January 4, 2014
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Jabari Brown scored 22 points to lead No. 25 Missouri to a 69-59 victory over pesky Long Beach State on Saturday.
Earnest Ross added 16 points and Ryan Rosburg had 11 rebounds for the Tigers (12-1), who open Southeastern Conference play at home against Georgia on Wednesday. Jordan Clarkson, who leads the SEC with a 20-point average, had a season-low 11 points.
Missouri has won 26 in a row at home, the longest current streak in the nation. It also has an 81-game winning streak against non-conference opponents since losing to Sam Houston State to start the 2005-06 season. Long Beach State (4-10) cut the deficit to two points with just under six minutes remaining but Missouri outscored the 49ers 12-4 the rest of the way.
Tyler Lamb had 17 points on 4-for-13 shooting for Long Beach State.
Dan Jennings, Long Beach State's leading rebounder, missed the last 16 minutes after a collision under the basket. Long Beach State had won three in a row since Lamb, a UCLA transfer, became eligible.
The Mizzou Arena was about half-filled, with attendance announced at 8,679 a day after the ninth-ranked football team beat Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl. The entertainment was a skeleton crew of five cheerleaders, an alumni band and no Golden Girls.
Wes Clark's 3-pointer gave Missouri its largest lead at 51-38 with 13:32 to play. Long Beach answered with a 10-2 run, five of the points from Lamb. Four straight points by Gulley cut the deficit to 57-55 with just over six minutes to go.
Missouri shot 58 percent in the first half and rallied from eight points down to take a 37-34 lead. Long Beach had an 18-13 rebounding advantage, plus the Tigers hurt themselves by missing six of their first 11 free throws.