COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Mizzou junior guard Jabari Brown scored 15 points to lead the No. 24 Tigers to a Sunday night (Dec. 15) victory over Western Michigan, 66-60. Three other Tigers - Jordan Clarkson (12), Earnest Ross (12) and Tony Criswell (10) - also posted double-digit scoring efforts in the win. The Tigers improve to 10-0 on the season and are now the 10th team in school history to begin a season with 10 straight victories.
Mizzou was stellar on the defensive end all night, limiting the Broncos the 30-percent shooting from the floor including just 5-of-24 from distance. Four Tigers scored in double-figures and freshman Wes Clark added nine points, just four off of his career-high, as the Tigers featured a balanced offensive attack in the win. Criswell gave Mizzou a boost off the bench, netting his 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting, connecting on all five of his shots from two-point range.
Mizzou has now won 80 consecutive home non-conference games and still own the nation's longest home winning streak with 25 in-a-row. Duke is the next-closest team nationally with 22. The Tigers remain one of just 15 unbeaten teams nationally as well and the only unbeaten team in the SEC.
Both the Tigers and Broncos struggled to get into an offensive groove in the first half. Mizzou took an early lead, but its offense was slowed after committing nine turnovers that Western Michigan was able to capitalize on. The Tigers regained control of the game in the final few minutes of the half, going on a 7-0 run to lead, 31-22, at the break.
Western Michigan made an offensive push to begin the second half and climbed to within two points of Mizzou's lead (44-42) midway through the half. The Broncos improved their field-goal percentage in the half, but couldn't contain the Tiger offense that was coming alive. Back-to-back jumps shots by Clark and Criswell pushed the Tigers to an 11-point advantage (56-45) with eight minutes to play.
The Broncos went on a quick run with just under three minutes to play and cut the lead to five points, but Mizzou hit its final free throws to close out the victory. Criswell was a key contributor off the bench for Mizzou. The senior tallied 10 points and four rebounds. Clark also contributed off the bench, scoring nine points and dishing three assists.
Next up for Mizzou is the Bud Light Braggin' Rights game vs. Illinois. The 33rd annual game tips off at 4:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 21, in St. Louis at the Scottrade Center. For more information on Mizzou Men's Basketball, follow mutigers.com and @MizzouHoops on twitter.