Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri Hoops Loses on Road at Alabama

Missouri was without three forwards for its road defeat at Alabama, which was the Tigers' eighth straight loss.

Kevin Puryear and Ryan Rosburg both posted career highs on Saturday, but the undermanned Missouri basketball team couldn’t keep up with host Alabama.

The Crimson Tide led by as many as 24 points midway through the second half and then held off a late Tigers rally for an 80-71 Southeastern Conference victory. 

“We were playing short-handed,” Mizzou coach Kim Anderson told reporters. “I thought we battled them. When it got down to it, the rebounding was a major factor, along with the second-chance points.”

Missouri was without suspended forwards Jakeenan Gant and Russell Woods after they were cited for possession of drug paraphernalia one day earlier. Another forward, D'Angelo Allen, was back in Columbia with strep throat. 

The Tigers fell to 8-15 overall and 1-9 in SEC play with their eighth consecutive loss. They have now lost 19 straight SEC regular-season road games, 22 straight games on their opponents home court and 26 in a row away from Mizzou Arena against Division I opponents.

Puryear, a freshman, and Rosburg, a senior, were the Tigers’ only scholarship forwards available on Saturday and both answered the challenge with career highs in points. 

Puryear posted 22 points on nine-of-17 shooting and added six rebounds. Rosburg scored 17 points on seven-of-12 shooting and had a team-high seven rebounds despite dealing with foul trouble. 

Tramaine Isabell joined Puryear and Rosburg in double figures with 10 points. 

Riley Norris led five Alabama (13-9, 4-6) players in double figures with his 18 points and knocked down three 3-pointers. 

The Crimson Tide hit five 3-pointers in the first half to take a 40-28 lead at the break. They finished with nine 3’s, making 32.1 percent (nine of 28) for the game. 

Alabama outrebounded Missouri 38-30 and had a 21-10 advantage in second-chance points. 

Missouri, whose last win came Jan. 9 against Auburn, will next play at Vanderbilt (13-9, 5-4) on Wednesday night. Vanderbilt has won five of its last seven games. 

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at natelatsch@gmail.com

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