Longhorns drop another road game to Tigers, 84-73

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Missouri's Marcus Denmon, right, dunks the ball over Texas' J'Covan Brown, left, during the second half. Brown had a game-high 34 points but it wasn't enough to overcome the power of Missouri.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

J'Covan Brown dazzled individually for the Longhorns, but Missouri collectively outplayed Texas and the hot-shooting Tigers continued UT's road woes.
 
Brown put on an offensive display and poured in 34 points, but Texas couldn't overcome a 13-point halftime deficit and Mizzou cruised down the stretch to win, 84-73, on Saturday afternoon at Mizzou Arena.
 
"I wanted to be aggressive, even when it wasn't there for me," said Brown, who was 6 of 7 from beyond the arc. "I wasn't worrying about carrying the team, when Coach called my number I made big shots."
 
But Brown's clutch buckets weren't enough to overcome a slow start as UT fell to 1-5 away from home.
 
Texas (12-5; 2-2 Big 12) fought back in the second half as Missouri (16-1; 3-1) cooled off, and the Brown cut the Tigers' lead to five, 62-57, with a pair of free throws with 9:40 left. Then, Mizzou point guard Phil Pressey took over.
 
Pressey drilled a three to put MU up by eight, and on the Tigers' next possession he drew a foul on Brown. On that play, though, Brown busted his upper lip and had to leave the game. Pressey made both free throws and then stole an errant pass for a fast break dunk that ignited the crowd and gave Mizzou a commanding lead, 69-57.
 
The Longhorns offense stalled with Brown on the bench and a close game quickly turned back into an uphill climb.
 
"Next thing I know I turned around and Pressey got a dunk and then they were up by double figures," Brown said. "We can’t make those mistakes that we made. We just have to keep being aggressive even when Coach subs me out."
 
The decisive two-minute stretch ended any hopes of a Longhorns comeback.
 
"We stuck around and could have got the job done if we played smarter," said point guard Myck Kabongo, who had 12 points and 10 assists against four turnovers. "Down five and we turn it over, have to play smarter than we did. It's just being aware."
 
Texas turned the ball over 14 times, leading to 20 points for MU. The Longhorns only scored two points off nine Tigers' turnovers. Poor execution hampered Texas against one of the premier offenses in the Big 12.
 
"Our problem is on the offensive end," said UT coach Rick Barnes. "We don't do the things we need to do to give ourselves a chance to be the team we can be."
 
Missouri didn’t have any such problems to begin the game. MU started hot and the Tigers took advantage of open looks from deep against the Texas zone, connecting on 8 of 11 three-pointers in the first half.
 
"They were just knocking down open shots with hands in their face," Brown said. "And a couple times we didn't get back in transition and they raised up and made a 3. They made big shots."
 
Jonathan Holmes added 10 points for Texas, who had three players in double figures. Mizzou, though, had a more balanced scoring effort and had four players with at least 14 points, led by Ricardo Ratliffe's 21.
 
Mizzou coach Frank Haith assisted under Barnes from 2002-04 and helped bring Lamarcus Aldridge and T.J. Ford to Austin. Barnes and Haith previously met as foes in 2008, when Texas beat Miami, 75-72, in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
 
Texas entered the game allowing an average of 50 points in their last two, but UT allowed MU to breach that mark with 17:31 to play.