No. 12 Missouri beats South Carolina State 102-51

No. 12 Missouri beats South Carolina State 102-51

Credit: AP Photo

Missouri's Phil Pressey, center, fights his way between South Carolina State's Darryl Palmer, left, and Khalif Toombs, right, as he drives the lane during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

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by Associated Press

Associated Press

Posted on December 17, 2012 at 11:11 PM

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Jabari Brown, playing in his first game since Nov. 17, 2011 when he was a freshman at Oregon, scored 12 points and No. 12 Missouri beat South Carolina State 102-51 on Monday night.

Brown, 6-foot-5, 205-pound guard, became eligible at the end of the first semester. He entered the game with 16:01 left in the first half. After a missed 3-pointer, he assisted on a fast-break layup by Negus Webster-Chan. He scored his first points on two free throws with 9:35 remaining.

Phil Pressey's jumper 17 seconds into the game gave Missouri (9-1) the lead for good. An 18-2 run midway through the first half gave the Tigers a 31-11 lead with 5:58 left.

Matthew Hezekiah led South Carolina State (4-7) with 14 points.

Despite not playing for nine days, the Tigers scored 49 points in the first half, representing the team's best this season.

Missouri had been shooting 39.6 percent in the first half for the season before its 18-for-33 performance Monday.

The team did better in the second half, adding 53 points on 23-of-39 shooting, helping Missouri reach the 100-point mark for the first time since Dec. 15, 2011.

Earnest Ross led the Tigers with 16 points and Alex Oriakhi grabbed 11 rebounds. Laurence Bowers' 11 points gave him 1,001 for his career, becoming the 44th Missouri player to reach the 1,000-point plateau.

South Carolina State, picked to finish last in the preseason Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference preseason poll, is already one win shy of matching its total of last season, when it finished 5-26 overall and 0-16 in conference.

Despite having a minus-7.2 rebounding margin against its last seven opponents, all of them from non-BCS conferences, the Bulldogs hung in there on the glass in the first half, getting outrebounded 23-19 by the third-ranked rebounding team in the country. But Missouri expanded the margin in the second half, outrebounding the Bulldogs 25-15.

Missouri plays No. 10 Illinois on Saturday in St. Louis in the teams' annual Braggin' Rights Game, having won the last three.

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