Mizzou ready for first road test

5:43 PM, Dec 28, 2012   |    comments
The Missouri Tigers celebrate their victory over the Illinois Fighting Illini at the Scottrade Center. Missouri defeated Illinois 82-73. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports
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(KSDK Sports) -- The No. 7 Missouri Tigers visit the 9-3 UCLA Bruins in a huge national college basketball clash. UCLA was supposed to be better than this, but a win over 10-1 Mizzou on Friday would be the Bruins' fifth straight victory heading into the conference season.

UCLA lost three of five earlier this year to 4-6 Cal Poly, No. 15 Georgetown and No. 7 San Diego State. The Mustangs were the only ones of seven Pauley Pavilion visitors to beat the Bruins who were only pushed one other time at home by 6-7 UC Irvine.

On Saturday UCLA was pushed a bit by 5-7 Fresno State who fell 91-78. The Bruins led by as many as 18 and trailed by as many as nine points. UCLA outrebounded the Bulldogs 40-23 and drained 58.1 percent. The Bruins however did not defend as well as they would have liked especially from deep.

FSU drilled 10-of-17 three-pointers. UCLA made 3-of-7. Freshmen wingman Shabazz Mohammad and guard Jordan Adams had 27 and 22 points for the Bruins who also got 20 from freshman guard Kyle Anderson.

The Tigers toppled No. 12 Illinois in an intraconference bout 82-73 Saturday. The 12-1 Fighting Illini and Missouri exchanged the lead numerous times until 4:17 on Jabari Brown's three-pointer. That began the Tigers' 10-0 run which turned into a 12-4 going to halftime.

Mizzou pushed their lead to as many as nine points, but Illinois rallied back with a 12-2 run. The Tigers fell behind by three; however, it was just a matter of the time Missouri was able to impose itself back on the boards, 51-29, for the victory. Senior forward Laurence Bowers had 23 points to lead the Tigers who also got solid contributions from sophomore guard Jabari Brown, senior forward Alex Oriakhi and junior guard Phil Pressey with double figures.

As good as Mizzou is they have yet to play any road games this season. The Tigers are 3-1 at neutral sites which is where their last win came. Missouri was trounced by No. 4 Louisville 84-61 while staving off 8-4 Stanford and 9-3 Virginia Commonwealth.

The Tigers take aim at their seventh straight victory and enjoy one more non-conference test before the Southeastern Conference slate.

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