COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) Jabari Brown scored 21 points, Alex Oriakhi tied a career high with 18 and No. 22 Missouri cruised to an 81-59 victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday.
Missouri (15-4, 4-2 Southeastern Conference) led 49-20 at halftime thanks to an early 32-2 run spanning 11:47. After going 5 of 27 on 3-point attempts Tuesday against South Carolina, the Tigers hit 11 of 21 Saturday including eight in the first half for a rare fast start.
Rod Odom matched a career high with 17 points for Vanderbilt (8-10, 2-4).
The Commodores scored the first eight points of the second half and later narrowed the deficit to 56-39 with 14:39 remaining, but got no closer despite making 15 of 30 shots after the break.
The teams traded points through the opening 5 minutes, prompting Missouri coach Frank Haith to take off his jacket in frustration. But after a dunk by Sheldon Jeter gave the Commodores an 11-8 lead with 15:25 left in the first half, Missouri scored 32 of the next 34 points.
Vanderbilt entered having won consecutive games for the second time this season, but struggled to keep pace with the Tigers, who made 17 of 31 shots in the first half. Missouri also outrebounded the Commodores 40-18, including 24-7 in the first half.
Leading scorer Kedren Johnson, who averages 15.1 points per game, was held scoreless in the first half before scoring 11 after the break for the Commodores. A layup with 19:07 left was his first basket in three road conference games after missing his first 13 attempts.
The Tigers received a boost from Keion Bell, who scored two fast-break layups and two free throws in a span of three consecutive possessions during the run. Bell missed the team’s previous game with a sprained ankle.
Laurence Bowers, who leads Missouri in scoring at 16.8 points per game and is second with 6.9 rebounds, missed his fifth consecutive game with a sprained right MCL. Bowers dressed for the game with a brace on his knee but did not play.
The game was Haith’s second since CBSSports.com reported Monday that he would face NCAA charges of “unethical conduct” and “failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance” related to his time at the University of Miami following a nearly two-year investigation.
The NCAA announced Wednesday, however, that it was temporarily suspending its investigation of the school because of improper conduct by members of its enforcement program. NCAA President Mark Emmert said he expected an external review of his organization to be finished within two weeks, and would not be issuing any Notice of Allegations until then.
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