Brown’s career night earns Mizzou a 93-71 Braggin’ Rights win

None of the 18,452 who showed up at the Enterprise Center on Thursday had a doubt as to who was the best player on the floor. The last time he went to the bench they gave him a standing ovation. They chanted his name as he stepped onto the line.

“What is this! Kobe! Beep!

kobe ​​brown He played in 100 basketball games before facing No. 16 Illinois in the Braggin’ Rights game. However, his 101st was his best.

Missouri beat the Fighting Illini 93-71 in St. Louis, and the senior forward had a career-high 31 points and eight assists, along with five rebounds and four steals. It was the most points ever scored by a Tiger in his Braggin’ Rights game, surpassing Doug Smith’s 30 in 1990.

For a team in need of a signature win, it was a signature performance.

Head coach: ‘I’m proud Kobe was able to host a breakout game’ Dennis Gates Said.

Brown has been in a bit of a slump in his last four games, scoring in double figures just once. The Tigers never lost faith in him. They gave him the ball early on against Illinois, and Brown kept eating.By halftime, the team had his captain tally his 15 points, four boards, five assists and four steals, giving Mizzou his lead. extended their 51-27 lead.

The Fighting Illini were also unable to find an answer in the second half.

“I approached it like every other game,” Brown said. “I just wanted to come out and win and to be at the top as a team. We got the ball in tonight and I’m happy. But I really want to win.”

Until this season, Brown was a 3-point shooter 23.7% of his career. The Huntsville, Alabama native said he was actually a great shooter in high school but had trouble adjusting to the college line. Brown has completed over 40% of his shots from deep this year.

That’s what made him a threat to Illinois.On one play in the second half, Brown received a pass from a senior point guard. Nick Honor to the left wing. The forward shot without hesitation. His sophomore forward, Illinois Redshirt Dane, jumped to contest his 3, but he rammed into Brown when he released the ball. The shot fell anyway, and Brown ran out an And-1 free throw, pushing the Tigers to 66-36 where he was.

Brown finished the game by sinking three of four tries from outside.

“(It’s) just confidence,” Brown said. (Gates) If I don’t shoot the ball, he will attack me. ”

Gates said Brown achieved a 4.0 GPA in the fall semester — Missouri overall broke the program record with a team GPA of 3.46. The coach thought that it made the forward more energetic on the court.

Brown’s confidence was contagious. His 91 points for Mizzou were the most ever scored in regulation for a Braggin’ Rights game. His 22-point winning margin for the Tigers was the largest ever in the series.

Gates is not satisfied. He didn’t think the team was playing well. He was “serious” too. He’s excited about the direction the Tigers are headed, but he thinks they can do even better.

Brown is also included.

“I asked him to lead more,” Gates said. “He’s our captain. He’s an introvert, but I expect him to keep talking more…and he knows it. Today, just a few of his assertivenesses.” I think we only saw part of it.”

Brown wasn’t the only Tiger to spot a stroke from afar.senior guard D’Me Hodge Missouri also helped enter the race, drilling 4-9 from the 3-point line.

He also played his regular role as a fast-breaking finisher, leading his team at halftime with 18 points. Despite a sober second half, he finished the game with 20 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block.

“(Brown and Hodge) are elite players, they have a future and their names will be called,” Gates said. “Somebody will get it, how good they are. And sit down and interview me, I’ll let you know how good these guys are, but make them look good.” And others too. We have some players in our program who are playing at the next level.”

Illinois was rated as a much better defensive team than Missow going into Thursday night. KenPom ranked his Illini defense his 30th in the nation while the Tigers ranked him 147th.

However, Missouri turned the tables on its rivals. Illinois shot only 40% from the field and over the arc she could shoot only 23%. The Tigers also forced 17 turnovers and gave the team 33 points.

“Our defensive approach was just ‘guard the yard,'” Hodge said. “Keep the dribble down, keep the dribble in front of you. And let’s be honest, you know, there’s no reach or gambling. Just be honest and let yourself make the turnover.” Please give me.”

The Tigers (11-1) head home for the start of SEC play hosting No. 19 Kentucky (8-3) on Wednesday, Dec. 28 at 6 p.m.

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