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Missouri beats N.C. State 68-64

Saturday, December 28, 2013 | 10:02 p.m. CST; updated 11:52 p.m. CST, Saturday, December 28, 2013
Missouri's Jordan Clarkson, No. 5, battles with North Carolina State's Jordan Vandenberg, center, with Missouri's Ryan Rosburg at left during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Raleigh, N.C., on Saturday. The Tigers beat the Wolfpack, 68-64.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Two games in a row now, Jabari Brown has hit a big 3-pointer to put Missouri ahead with under a minute to play.

Last weekend against Illinois the shot didn't matter, as the Illini scored on its final possession to take the Braggin' Rights Game. 

This Saturday, Brown did it again, hitting a 3-pointer with 54 seconds to play. And this Saturday, that shot was a big reason No.25 Missouri defeated North Carolina State 68-64 in its first true road test of the season.

"We know who to look for in the last minute," said Johnathan Williams III, who assisted Brown's shot. "Because we know who is going to knock it down." 

Jordan Clarkson led the Tigers with 21 points, Brown added 17 points, and Earnest Ross posted a double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. 

Missouri successfully responded to last weekend's Illinois loss — the Tigers' first of the season — to improve to 10-1. 

"To start this season with a road win like that is a blessing," Williams said.

Missouri trailed 32-30 at halftime and struggled all night to stop Wolfpack forward T.J. Warren, who led all scorers with 24 points.

Warren scored nine points in the first 10 minutes of the second half, which helped N.C. State jump out to a 53-43 lead with nine minutes to play.

But the Tigers went on an 11-1 run over the next three minutes to tie the game.

"We came together as a team when everything was going wrong," Williams said. "And we conquered that adversity."

Clarkson put Missouri ahead 57-56 with a free throw to complete a three-point play. Clarkson drove and converted a layup in traffic, then followed with a jumper the next time down the floor.

Each time Clarkson put the Tigers ahead, Wolfpack guard Ralston Turner had an answer. Turner countered Clarkson's shots by hitting two consecutive 3-pointers, the first with 3:32 to play and then again with 1:41 to go.

Brown's 3-pointer gave Missouri the lead, and this time they wouldn't let it go. 

Jordan Clarkson and Tony Criswell each hit two free throws down the stretch to ice the victory, and the Turner missed a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left that would have tied the game.

Missouri hosts Long Beach State next at 4 p.m. Jan. 4 at Mizzou Arena.


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