Missouri came out of the halftime locker room with a 31-30 lead and promptly went on an 10-2 run, scoring in transition and underneath the basket, to open up a 41-32 lead with 16:02 remaining in the game, which prompted Alabama Head Coach Anthony Grant to call a time-out.
Missouri had made some halftime adjustments in their match-up zone defense, and the Tigers were scoring in transition as the Crimson Tide struggled to find good looks.
Barely four minutes later, after Jordan Clarkson, who finished with 16 points and 5 steals, drove down the lane for a layup, Missouri's lead had grown to 48-34, with 11:55 remaining. The Tigers never looked back.
Jabari Brown led all scorers with 24 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including 3-5 from 3-PT range. Johnathan Williams III made a big contribution with 9 points, on 4-of-6 shooting, 14 big rebounds, and 1 blocked shot.
But it was the job that Missouri did on the defensive end that allowed the Tigers to eventually take control of the game. Missouri held Alabama to 29% from the field, and limited Alabama scoring leader Trevor Releford to just 10 points on 4-of-16 shooting.
"Obviously, it was a great win for us," said Missouri Head Coach Frank Haith, following his team's second conference win. "I thought our guys played extremely hard. I thought defensively we were outstanding! The back line of our zone and J3 was just terrific! We had great close outs and I thought our team's defense was outstanding on Releford and knowing where he is at and how good of a player he is. I thought our guys did a really good job on him."
Missouri began the game on a 7-0 run. But a series of defensive lapses allowed Alabama to climb right back into it.
Jordan Clarkson had his way early, getting inside against Alabama’s smaller guards, but he picked up a second foul and sat for the remainder of the half. Jabari Brown had a good 1st half shooting the basketball, with 12 points in the 1st half, while shooting 3-of-4 from 3-PT range.
Throughout the 1st half, Missouri did a pretty good job of staying close to Releford, who went to the halftime locker room with 4 points on 1-6 shooting. To open the 2nd half, Clarkson got back into the action, and Brown added to his point total with a layup and a pair of free throws.
To make matters worse for the Crimson Tide, Releford picked up a quick third foul, and went to the bench. He didn't sit for long, as Missouri extended the lead, and took control of the game. Releford eventually fouled out, but by then, the outcome had already been decided.
"I think Alabama is a really good team and I think that we did a really good job (on defense)," continued Coach Haith. "We are getting better and better on the defensive end. With defensive rebounding though, we still have to continue to grow. Obviously, I thought the second half we were outstanding."