Early 38-4 run leads Missouri past Vanderbilt

Missouri's Tony Criswell, right, knocks the ball away from Vanderbilt's Rod Odom, left, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, in Columbia, Mo. Missouri won the game 81-59.

Missouri's Tony Criswell, right, knocks the ball away from Vanderbilt's Rod Odom, left, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013, in Columbia, Mo. Missouri won the game 81-59. Photo by The Associated Press.

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri used Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt as a way to break out of its recent funk that has taken them through the start of Southeastern Conference play.

It took only a matter of minutes to accomplish that.

On the strength of a 38-4 first-half run, 22nd-ranked Missouri routed Vanderbilt 81-59 in front of a sellout crowd of more than 15,000 at Mizzou Arena.

“When you have those kind of runs, there’s a lot of things that have to go your way,” Missouri coach Frank Haith said.

Defense? Check. Shooting? Check. Rebounding? Check.

The Tigers did little wrong and Vanderbilt did little right from about the 11-minute mark of the first half up until the end of the half.

“I will (say) our defensive intensity in the first half, that was the key to our success in the first half in getting us off to a great start,” Haith said.

Read more of News Tribune reporter Brent Foster's coverage in our newspaper and e-Edition for Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013.

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