Fresh off an upset victory over then-No. 15 Alabama, Missouri will try to make it two wins in a row on Wednesday in Fayetteville, Ark., where they’ll take on Arkansas in a Southeastern Conference clash.
The Tigers (7-7, 1-1 SEC) beat Alabama at home on Saturday after not playing for more than a week. In the 92-86 result, Missouri owned the boards, outrebounding the Crimson Tide 43-31. Kobe Brown’s big day was crucial, too, as he stuffed the stat sheet with a career-high 30 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and a block.
Missouri coach Cuonzo Martin pointed to the Tigers’ efficiency on offense as the reason why the Tigers won. Indeed, Missouri hit a season-high-tying nine 3-pointers and had a season-high 19 assists to 10 turnovers.
“You have to share the ball,” Martin told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “But really, what we’re trying to drill into our guys more than anything (is), don’t get consumed if your shot isn’t falling. Don’t allow that to defeat you.”
Brown’s shot has fallen in more often than not this season. He leads the team in scoring with 15.3 points per game while shooting 52.4 percent from the floor, a mark that also leads the Tigers’ regulars. Brown is also the team’s top rebounder with 8.8 boards per game.
Amari Davis is the only other Tiger scoring in double digits consistently, averaging 10.4 points per game.
Arkansas (10-5, 0-3) has lost three straight to begin league play, falling to Mississippi State, Vanderbilt and Texas A&M.
At Texas A&M on Saturday, JD Notae’s 31 points weren’t enough to lead the Razorbacks to a victory. Arkansas had 18 turnovers and missed eight free throws in an 86-81 defeat.
Notae continues to lead Arkansas in scoring this season with 18.8 points per game. Arkansas’ third-leading scorer and second-leading rebounder is Au’Diese Toney, who averages 11.2 points and 5.6 rebounds while shooting an impressive 62.6 percent from the floor. Toney is the first cousin of Missouri’s Kaleb and Kobe Brown.
Eric Musselman’s Razorbacks started the season on a nine-game winning streak. Now, they’ve lost five of their last six.
“Maybe we need to show more adjustments at halftime. Maybe we need to show less adjustments at halftime,” Musselman, now in his third season leading Arkansas, told Whole Hog Sports. “We’re still trying to figure that out, on what our team can grasp, and then not only grasp, but then go out and execute it.”
Wednesday is the 20th meeting between Missouri and Arkansas since the Tigers joined the SEC in 2012. Overall, Arkansas owns a 30-26 advantage in the border rivalry.
–Field Level Media