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WVU struggles offensively during 1st half in loss to Missouri

AP - West Virginia's Gary Browne (center) tries to steal the ball from Missouri's Jabari Brown (left) as Nathan Adrian (right) looks on during the first half Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>West Virginia's Gary Browne (center) tries to steal the ball from Missouri's Jabari Brown (left) as Nathan Adrian (right) looks on during the first half Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
AP - West Virginia's Juwan Staten (top) drives through Missouri's Jabari Brown (left), Jordan Clarkson (right) and Tony Criswell as he scores two of his team-high 16 points during the second half Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>West Virginia's Juwan Staten (top) drives through Missouri's Jabari Brown (left), Jordan Clarkson (right) and Tony Criswell as he scores two of his team-high 16 points during the second half Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
AP - West Virginia's Terry Henderson (left), Remi Dibo (center) and Missouri's Johnathan Williams III (right) battle for a rebound during the first half Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>West Virginia's Terry Henderson (left), Remi Dibo (center) and Missouri's Johnathan Williams III (right) battle for a rebound during the first half Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
AP - Missouri's Shane Rector (left) tries to shoot past West Virginia's Brandon Watkins (right) during the first half Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Missouri's Shane Rector (left) tries to shoot past West Virginia's Brandon Watkins (right) during the first half Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
AP - West Virginia's Nathan Adrian (right) collides with Missouri's Earnest Ross (left) as Ross brings the ball up court during the first half Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>West Virginia's Nathan Adrian (right) collides with Missouri's Earnest Ross (left) as Ross brings the ball up court during the first half Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
AP - Missouri's Shane Rector (left), Tony Criswell (center) and Johnathan Williams III (right) fight each other for a rebound during the first half Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Missouri's Shane Rector (left), Tony Criswell (center) and Johnathan Williams III (right) fight each other for a rebound during the first half Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
AP - Missouri's Jordan Clarkson (center) scores two of his game-high 25 points between West Virginia's Nathan Adrian (left) and Remi Dibo (right) during the first half Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Missouri's Jordan Clarkson (center) scores two of his game-high 25 points between West Virginia's Nathan Adrian (left) and Remi Dibo (right) during the first half Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
AP - Missouri's Wes Clark (right) and West Virginia's Eron Harris (left) battle for a loose ball during the second half Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Missouri's Wes Clark (right) and West Virginia's Eron Harris (left) battle for a loose ball during the second half Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
AP - West Virginia coach Bob Huggins looks on the court in disbelief in front of his bench during the first half against Missouri on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>West Virginia coach Bob Huggins looks on the court in disbelief in front of his bench during the first half against Missouri on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
AP - Missouri's Jordan Clarkson (left) is fouled by West Virginia's Devin Williams (right) as they battle for a rebound during the second half Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Missouri's Jordan Clarkson (left) is fouled by West Virginia's Devin Williams (right) as they battle for a rebound during the second half Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
AP - West Virginia's Remi Dibo (right) battles Missouri's Tony Criswell (left) and Johnathan Williams III (center) for a rebound during the second half Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>West Virginia's Remi Dibo (right) battles Missouri's Tony Criswell (left) and Johnathan Williams III (center) for a rebound during the second half Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
AP - Missouri coach Frank Haith tries to get a call during the first half against West Virginia on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>AP</em></div>Missouri coach Frank Haith tries to get a call during the first half against West Virginia on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo.

College Football Videos

By The Associated Press
Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, 9:36 p.m.
 

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Jordan Clarkson scored 25 points, and Jabari Brown added 18 to help Missouri defeat West Virginia, 80-71, on Thursday night in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Missouri shot 53 percent from the floor, but its defense limited West Virginia to making 42 percent of its shots. The Mountaineers entered the game averaging 85.1 points and shooting nearly 50 percent but only made 8 of 29 shots in the first half.

Missouri (8-0) extended its national-best home-court winning streak to 23 games and has won 78 consecutive games at Mizzou Arena against nonconference competition.

Juwan Staten scored 16 points, while Gary Browne and Terry Henderson added 14 for West Virginia (6-3), which fell to 0-3 against power conference teams.

Missouri scored the first nine points and led throughout as West Virginia never established a rhythm until the end of the night. The Mountaineers also averaged 10 3-pointers per game before Thursday but converted only one of their first 14 attempts until Browne's make with 7:51 remaining. They finished four for 19.

Earnest Ross added 16 points for the Tigers, who have won their first eight games for the first time since the 2006-07 season. Clarkson, Brown and Ross have combined for nearly two-thirds of the Tigers' scoring this season.

Missouri also outrebounded West Virginia, 40-32, after the Mountaineers grabbed 62 boards against Loyola Maryland, their most since 64 in a contest against Radford in 1992. West Virginia had been averaging four more boards per game than its opponents.

The Mountaineers used a 9-2 run to pull within 27-20 with 4:36 remaining in the first half, but Missouri countered with an identical run to take a 36-22 halftime lead. After Devin Williams opened the second half with a layup, Missouri then scored the next five points.

West Virginia again narrowed the lead late in the second half as Staten capped a 17-5 run with a layup with 1:45 left to narrow the Mountaineers' deficit to 73-64. After two free throws by the Tigers' Wes Clark, Remi Dibo drained a 3-pointer from the corner with 1:10 left to make the score 75-67.

But the Mountaineers couldn't get any closer.

Staten (16) and Eron Harris (8) combined for 24 points after only scoring four total in the first half. The duo previously averaged nearly 37 for West Virginia, which has also lost to Virginia Tech and Wisconsin. Coaches picked the team to finish seventh in the 10-team Big 12 prior to the season as the team lost its final seven games last year and finished 13-19.

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