Tigers host 49ers in non-conference finale today
Saturday, January 4, 2014
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Part One is coming to a close.
The 25th-ranked Missouri Tigers (11-1) finish the non-conference portion of their schedule against Long Beach State (4-9) at 4 p.m. today at Mizzou Arena (CW-TV).
Missouri can wrap up an undefeated home non-conference slate with a win today. The Tigers have won all seven non-conference games on Norm Stewart Court. Missouri currently owns a 25-game homecourt winning streak, good for best in the nation.
Missouri is coming off a 68-64 victory against North Carolina State last Saturday, the Tigers’ first true road game of the 2013-14 season.
While Long Beach State’s 4-9 mark doesn’t inspire the possibility of a close game, that record is somewhat deceiving. The 49ers have won three straight games since UCLA transfer Tyler Lamb became eligible for the second semester. In his three games, Lamb has poured in 22 points per game. Two of those wins have come against Southern California and Nevada.
Long Beach State dropped nine straight games before its recent surge. The schedule was quite daunting though. During that losing streak, the 49ers’ opponents included now-No. 1 Arizona, then-No. 14 Michigan, then-No. 10 Virginia Commonwealth, Creighton, North Carolina State, Kansas State (twice), Washington and Loyola Marymount. Not exactly a slate full of cupcakes.
Mike Caffey adds 17.5 points and 4.2 assists while Dan Jennings contributes 11.6 points and 8.4 rebounds.
Jordan Clarkson, fresh off his third Southeastern Conference Player of the Week honor, leads the Tigers with 20 points per game. Jabari Brown adds 18.1 points and 5.4 rebounds while Earnest Ross chips in 13.8 points and 6.4 rebounds. Freshman Johnathan Williams III adds a team-high eight rebounds per game.
Missouri and Long Beach State have two common opponents — North Carolina State and Nevada. Missouri owns wins against both, 68-64 and 83-70, respectively. Long Beach State lost to North Carolina State (76-66) before topping Nevada (80-77 in overtime).
Missouri opens its SEC slate against Georgia at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Mizzou Arena.
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