Mizzou bombs Southern U.

Friday, December 7, 2001

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Missouri overcame one of its worst long-range shooting performances quickly -- and in record fashion.

Clarence Gilbert scored 18 of his 29 points in the first half and No. 2 Missouri hit a school-record 17 3-pointers in a 117-67 victory over Southern University on Thursday night.

"We played the right way," Gilbert said. "When we play the right way, we are knocking down 3s."

After hitting just one 3-pointer against Saint Louis on Monday -- Missouri's worst performance from beyond the arc under coach Quin Snyder -- the Tigers shot 9-for-17 from 3-point range in the first half and 17-for-30 (57 percent) overall against the Jaguars.

Gilbert, who entered the game averaging 18.5 points, shot 7-for-10 from 3-point range after missing three attempts against Saint Louis. Wesley Stokes, Josh Kroenke, Ryan Kiernan and Rickey Paulding also hit 3s for the Tigers.

"They weren't leaving us wide open at Saint Louis," Gilbert said. "That was more of a penetrating game and getting in the gaps. Tonight, they were leavings us wide open and we just took out shots."

Kareem Rush added 25 points, including 20 in the first half, as the Tigers beat a Southwestern Athletic Conference team for the third time in four games, scoring at least 100 points in all three victories.

"There is no substitute for good shooting and they shot the ball very well tonight," said Southern coach Ben Jobe. "You can solve a lot of problems if you just put the ball in the basket."

Missouri is 9-0 for the first time since the 1989-90 season, when the Tigers finished 26-6 and won the Big Eight.

"We're not there yet," Snyder said. "That's exciting, but we can get better. We won't win at the level we want unless we do. Unequivocally, that's a fact."

After falling behind 16-10, Missouri hit 15 consecutive shots midway through the first half en route to a 56-38 lead at the break.

The Tigers shot 58 percent -- 53 percent from 3-point range -- in the half, despite starting 2-for-10 and failing to score after Snyder pulled his most of his starters with approximately 3 minutes left in the period.

"That's the kind of style we've got," Rush said. "That's the type of people we are. When our shots are on, we are dangerous. We put up points real quick and that's pretty obvious.

"We not going to do that every game, but its good to have one of those days."

Stokes, who hit the game winning shot at the buzzer Monday against Saint Louis, had 11 assists, part of a season-high 31 for Missouri.

Southern (0-4) didn't score in the second half until the 13:45 mark, when Brian Johnson's 3-pointer made it 71-41 and ended Missouri's 15-0 run at the start of the period.

Johnson led Southern with 20 points. Victor Tarver and Carl Alexander each added 12.

Missouri has never scored less than 106 points in its four games against Southern, outscoring the Jaguars by an average of 112-80. Missouri has been ranked in three of the games, all played in Columbia.

After capping a stretch of seven games in 17 days with the win against Southern, the Tigers have nine days off before a Dec. 15 rematch with No. 11 Iowa -- the team's longest stretch without a game this season.

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