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Brown leads Missouri men's basketball to victory in SEC opener

Tuesday, January 8, 2013 | 8:01 p.m. CST; updated 10:52 p.m. CST, Tuesday, January 8, 2013
The Missouri men's basketball team defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide, 84-68 on Tuesday at Mizzou Arena.

COLUMBIA — After making a basket, Missouri men's basketball player Jabari Brown celebrates simply.

Brown doesn't roar and flex like forward Alex Oriakhi or get down low and clap to bring the crowd to their feet like point guard Phil Pressey does.

Brown simply backpedals while nodding up and down to the pulse of the crowd's roar.

Other times, Brown just tightens up his shorts and tucks in his jersey before returning to play defense. Occasionally, he will share a few fist bumps with his teammates.

There were many chances for Brown to celebrate in No. 10-ranked Missouri's first Southeastern Conference game Tuesday night at Mizzou Arena.

In the Tigers' 84-68 victory over Alabama, Brown knocked down 5-of-7 3-pointers and had a career high of 22 points to help Missouri improve to 12-2.

Brown's performance was a huge contrast to his performance Saturday when he shot 1-for-9 against Bucknell.

Brown's shots weren't all easy either.

With 17:47 to go and the shot clock ticking down in the second half, Brown launched a shot from just in front of the Missouri bench, back as far as where the Missouri coaches sit. The shot jostled around the rim before falling.

"He hit some tonight that were deep," Alabama coach Anthony Grant said. "And you could tell that he got into a rhythm, and it just kind of fueled their team."

Brown in rhythm is dangerous.

"It feels good," said Brown about his play Tuesday night, a smile forming on his face. "It feels like the basket gets bigger out there with every shot that goes in."

Some of Brown's shots were a result of Pressey finding Brown in transition. Pressey had 11 points and 13 assists.

Missouri guard Earnest Ross also had a great night shooting with 19 points, and Oriakhi (16 points 10 rebounds) also had double-double.

Laurence Bowers had 16 points and five rebounds but left the game in the second half after hurting his right knee. He will undergo an MRI for what coach Frank Haith thinks is an MCL sprain. Bowers missed last season recovering from a left knee injury.


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