No. 12 Missouri 82, No. 10 Illinois 73: Laurence Bowers scored 23 points as the Tigers knocked the Illini from the ranks of the unbeaten and claimed their fourth consecutive Braggin’ Rights game in St. Louis.
Jabari Brown poured in 18 points in his second game for Missouri (10-1) while Alex Oriakhi added 13 points and 14 rebounds – his fourth double-double of the season - helping Missouri outrebound Illinois 51-29 in the annual meeting between the border rivals.
Bowers’ basket at the 16:42 mark gave the Tigers a nine-point advantage, but Illinois (12-1) stormed back with a 12-2 run over the next 4:26 behind four offensive rebounds and a steal to take a short-lived 51-50 lead.
Neither team could establish more than a five-point margin thereafter until Phil Pressey drove the length of the court for a reverse layup with 34 seconds left. Ten seconds later, Brown hit a pair of free throws to extend the lead to 79-70.
Brandon Paul finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Illini, who shot just 8-of-32 beyond the arc.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Pressey missed his first 15 shots before hitting a shot with 4:13 left. He finished just 3-of-19 from the field but had 12 points and handed out 11 assists. … John Groce was denied in his attempt to become the first coach in school history to begin his Illinois coaching career with 13 straight wins. … The Tigers, who lead the country in rebounding, have collected at least 48 rebounds in four straight games.