Missouri, Ole Miss limp into SEC tilt
(AP) -- Injuries to their respective leading scorers present more hurdles to potentially clear for both Missouri and Mississippi.
Looking to avoid a fourth straight SEC road loss, the Tigers could again be minus star Kobe Brown on Tuesday night, against a last-place Rebels squad that might be without its top overall player in Matthew Murrell.
Missouri (14-5, 3-4 SEC) closed 2022 by beating then-No. 16 Illinois and then-No. 19 Kentucky by a combined 36 points. However, the Tigers are 2-4 since and winless in all three league road contests.
With Brown (15.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists per game) out due to an ankle injury, the Tigers shot a season-low 32.9 percent with an 85-64 loss to then-No. 4 Alabama on Saturday. Mizzou matched its lowest point total of 2022-23.
"One game doesn't define us," said Missouri coach Dennis Gates, whose team has allowed at least 82 points three times in the last five games. It's important that we continue to grow. ... We to continue to manufacture those plays that will give us a boost."
Whether Brown plays Tuesday remains to be seen. Gates has remained cautious with the SEC's seventh-leading scorer, but he needs others to step up. Like guard D'Moi Hodge, who averages 14 points but has totaled 28 in the last four games.
Meanwhile, Murrell ranks eighth in the league, averaging a 14.9 points for Ole Miss (9-10, 1-6). But he exited after his leg was stepped on with 14:13 remaining in Saturday's 69-57 loss at then-No. 25 Arkansas. That also leaves his immediate status unknown.
"He said it was his knee," Ole Miss coach Kermit Davis said. "Not to speculate at all, that's what he said."
Murrell is the only player averaging double-figure points for Mississippi, which has scored 59 or fewer points four times in the last seven games. Forward Jayveous McKinnis averages just 5.0 points and 4.2 rebounds but has totaled 24 with 16 boards in the last two games.
The Rebels have dropped four straight at home by a combined 18 points. They've dropped three in a row overall against Missouri.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 23, 2023