COLUMBIA, Mo. — Laurence Bowers has been enjoying a big comeback season for No. 10 Missouri, leading the Tigers in scoring and second in rebounding entering the school’s SEC debut.
Now he’s hurt again.
The senior forward injured his right knee with about 6 minutes left in an 84-68 victory over Alabama on Tuesday night when teammate Phil Pressey landed on his leg underneath the Missouri basket and coach Frank Haith believed Bowers sprained the MCL.
Bowers, who missed all last season with a torn ACL in his left knee, will undergo an MRI on Wednesday. Bowers, who finished with 16 points and five rebounds in 31 minutes, smacked his hands together, showing his frustration, when he returned to the end of the bench with about 4 minutes to go.
“They’re going to look at it,” Haith said. “We don’t know the extent of it. We’re concerned when any of our guys get hurt.”
Bowers has four double-doubles and is averaging nearly 17 points and seven rebounds.
Jabari Brown hit a career-high five straight 3-pointers after an early miss and Pressey responded from a shaky first half with 11 points and 13 assists. Pressey slightly sprained an ankle when he collided with Bowers but missed less than a minute.
Trevor Releford had a career-best 26 points with three 3-pointers and topped 1,000 points for Alabama (8-6, 0-1), which has lost six of eight. Coach Anthony Grant lost for the first time in seven career conference openers, three at VCU and four at Alabama.
Missouri shot 59 percent from the field in the second half. The Tigers shot 56 percent overall and were 9-for-15 from 3-point range.
“We couldn’t get stops,” Grant said. “To me, that was the story of the second half. Whether it was the press, transition, half-court, we did not defend the way we would need to defend to be able to come on the road against an opponent like Missouri and get a win.”
Brown scored a career-high 22 points on 7-for-11 shooting.
Earnest Ross added a season-best 19 points for Missouri (12-2, 1-0) and Alex Oriakhi helped the Tigers pull away with 10 of his 16 points over the final 11 minutes. He grabbed 11 rebounds. Oriakhi powered for two inside baskets in a 9-2 run that put the Tigers up 62-51 with 9 minutes to go and Alabama got no closer than six points the rest of the way.
NO. 1 DUKE 68, CLEMSON 40: In Durham, N.C., Quinn Cook scored a career-high 27 points and Duke held Clemson to its lowest-scoring half in 12 years.
Ryan Kelly added 12 points in the first half but sat out the second with what team officials said was a right leg injury.
The Blue Devils (15-0, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) shot 48 percent, built a 42-31 rebounding advantage and pulled away down the stretch to improve to 58-4 at home against the Tigers.
Devin Booker had 12 points and 15 rebounds for Clemson (8-6, 0-2), which had season lows for points and shooting percentage (28 percent) and shot 12 percent in its brutal first half.
The Tigers had just 10 points at halftime, their fewest since scoring nine against Wake Forest in 2001.
No. 13 Creighton 91, Drake 61: In Omaha, Neb., Ethan Wragge matched career highs with 22 points and six 3-pointers for Creighton.
Doug McDermott added 16 points, Jahenns Manigat had 13 and Grant Gibbs 10 for the Bluejays (15-1, 4-0 Missouri Valley Conference), who won their ninth straight game.
Creighton, which made a season-high 16 3-pointers, led by 30 points in the first half and by 35 late in the second.
Joey King scored 17 points and Jordan Clarke and Micah Mason had 11 apiece for Drake (6-9, 0-4).
No. 15 Ohio State 74, Purdue 64: In West Lafayette, Ind., Deshaun Thomas scored 22 points to lead Ohio State.
The Buckeyes (12-3, 2-1 Big Ten) shot 56.4 percent from the field. They took a 10-point halftime lead despite losing point guard Aaron Craft for all but 4:19 of the first half because of early foul trouble, and Buckeyes coach Thad Matta got his 100th Big Ten victory.
Purdue (7-8, 1-2) has lost two straight to Top 20 teams since upsetting No. 11 Illinois last week. The Boilermakers were led by the Johnson brothers, Terone, who had 18 points, and Ronnie, who had 11 points, six rebounds and seven assists.
Pittsburgh 73, No. 19 Georgetown 45: In Washington, Talib Zanna scored 15 points, and Pittsburgh rediscovered its shooting touch, hitting 55 percent from the field.
Zanna went 7-for-9 from the field, Tray Woodall added 11 points and seven assists for the Panthers (13-3, 1-2), who dominated the Hoyas from the opening tip to bounce back from two Big East losses that knocked them out of the Top 25.
No player scored in double figures for the punchless Hoyas (10-3, 0-2), who shot 35 percent to lose by more than 20 points at home for the first time in 13 years.
Georgetown has failed to score at least 50 points four times this season, including a 49-48 loss at Marquette on Saturday.
Copyright © 2011, Capital City Press LLC • 7290 Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70810 • All Rights Reserved