Robertson scores 22, Missouri tops Alabama 69-60
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) A Missouri team in dire need of a win outshot and outfought Alabama, which was coming off a big one.
The result was a big road victory. Kassius Robertson scored 22 points to help Missouri snap a three-game losing streak with a 69-60 victory over the Crimson Tide on Wednesday night.
Jontay Porter overcame foul trouble to score 13 points for the Tigers (14-8, 4-5 Southeastern Conference). Coming off a win over No. 12 Oklahoma, the Tide (14-8, 5-4) fell behind by double digits in the first half and had an abysmal shooting performance after the break.
”This was probably the most motivated we’ve been this season thus far,” Porter said. ”Hopefully we can keep it going. We knew it was kind of a must-win.
”We still have tournament dreams, too.”
Missouri’s Jeremiah Tilmon scored 12 points and made all six shots before fouling out with more than five minutes left. Robertson had four assists and made 4 of 8 3-pointers.
The Tigers excelled in the key areas that coach Cuonzo Martin said had cost them during the recent slump.
”The reason why we lost those games, you talk about rebounding, defending and playing hard,” Martin said. ”We didn’t do any of that.”
They did them all this time. Martin also tweaked the starting lineup, bringing Porter and Jordan Geist off the bench for the first time in recent weeks.
Collin Sexton scored 23 points for Alabama on a 7-of-16 shooting performance. Dazon Ingram was the only other Tide player in double digits with 10 points.
Alabama hit just 6 of 27 field goals in the second half (22.2 percent) after dropping more than 50 percent in the first. Missouri also outrebounded the Tide 37-27.
”The physicality of Missouri just overwhelmed us from start to finish,” Alabama coach Avery Johnson said. ”They were physical, they were passionate. I tried to warn our team about this the last couple of days in practice, but they didn’t respond.
”They played like a team with their backs to the wall. We played like we were entitled a little bit. It just wasn’t a good night for us.”
Porter’s 3-pointer with 4:59 left pushed Missouri’s lead to 65-56. Alabama made enough defensive stops to perhaps generate a comeback, but couldn’t cash in with baskets on the other end. The Tide missed seven straight attempts down the stretch.
Alabama had whittled a 12-point Missouri lead down to 35-33 over the final five minutes of the opening half. Sexton’s 3-pointer at the buzzer sent the Tide heading to the locker room in a better mood. The Tigers went seven minutes without a field goal extending into the second half.
Missouri: Got a big win after three straight double-digit losses. Had four players with two fouls apiece before halftime, and Porter picked up his fourth with 17:12 left.
Alabama: Blew a chance to move into a four-way tie for second in the SEC. Had won five of six games to start looking like a strong NCAA Tournament candidate, but had a rare poor performance at Coleman Coliseum. The Tide had been 4-0 at home in SEC games.
Alabama went to the free-throw line frequently, making 21 of 32. Missouri shot less than half as many and was 10 of 15.
Missouri hosts No. 21 Kentucky Saturday.
Alabama visits No. 23 Florida Saturday afternoon and plays four of its next six games on the road.