Missouri basketball drops third consecutive SEC game

Saturday, February 8, 2014 | 6:33 p.m. CST; updated 7:35 a.m. CST, Monday, February 10, 2014

A balanced attack by Missouri's big three could not overcome the erratic brilliance of Ole Miss' polarizing guard Marshall Henderson, who scored 29 points to lead the Rebels past the Tigers 91-88 Saturday at Tad Smith Coliseum in Oxford.

Earnest Ross scored 24, Jordan Clarkson added 23 and Jabari Brown helped with 20 points. Missouri stormed back from a 15-point halftime deficit but fell just short.

The Tigers had a chance to tie with game with .9 seconds left after forcing Jarvis Summers out of bounds. Inbounding under their own basket, the pass to Ross at the top of the key was long, forcing Ross to catch it backpedaling. His shot attempt lacked subsequent momentum and fell short, scratching off the front rim.

Missouri fell to 4-6 in SEC play with the loss, its third in row. It is the first time Missouri has had a three-game losing streak under head coach Frank Haith.

Mississippi jumped out to a 22-14 lead over the first eight minutes of the game, which were blacked out on Columbia television due to an overlap with St. Louis Blues hockey. Once the Tigers showed up on television, their effort disappeared, with Missouri falling behind by 15 by halftime at the hand of the Rebels' relentless 3-point attack.

But the effort reappeared immediately as the second half began, even sprouting from the most unlikely of places. The Tigers scored the half's first six points, and within six minutes had cut the deficit to just four thanks to eight quick points by foward Ryan Rosburg. 

Rosburg athletically tipped rebounds into the net in midair and even finished with authority - once in traffic with two hands - finishing the game with 11 points. Though Missouri is still yet to receive a complete performance this year from its frontcourt - Ole Miss held Missouri's other starting forward, Johnathan Williams III, scoreless Saturday - Rosburg's performance offered small consolation for a team desperate for silver linings as it slips further and further off the edge NCAA Tournament bubble. 

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