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Missouri's NCAA tourney hopes stay alive with win against Mississippi State

Published On: Mar 01 2014 05:52:54 PM CST   Updated On: Mar 01 2014 06:02:01 PM CST
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Jabari Brown had 21 points as the Tigers kept their NCAA Tournament hopes alive with a one-sided win over the visiting Bulldogs.Brown hit a pair of 3-pointers while adding five rebounds and five assists for Missouri (20-9, 8-8 SEC), which shot 62.3 percent from the floor to hand Mississippi State its 11th consecutive defeat.

Keanau Post and Jordan Clarkson added 14 points apiece while Earnest Ross tacked on 11. Fred Thomas led the way with 18 points for Mississippi State (13-16, 3-13), which has allowed at least 73 points in each of its last six games. Gavin Ware (13) was the only other Bulldogs player to finish in double figures.

The Tigers broke open a close first half just past the midway point, as a Ross 3-pointer kick-started a 7-0 run that put Missouri ahead 28-20. The lead reached double digits on a Clarkson steal and slam, and Post put an exclamation point on a strong first half with a put-back of a missed Ross 3-pointer as the Tigers went into the break ahead 45-32.Post took over in the early moments of the second half, converting a putback and adding a short jumper and an emphatic dunk off a Brown feed on back-to-back possessions to stretch the lead to 14.

Missouri put the game away a short time later, as Wes Clark and Clarkson knocked down 3-pointers a part of a backbreaking 15-0 run that spanned just over 3 1/2 minutes.