COLUMBIA, Mo. — Jontay Porter scored 19 points and Missouri defeated Arkansas 77-67 on Saturday.
The Tigers (20-11, 10-8 Southeastern Conference) attacked the post all night, whether it was Porter or Jeremiah Tilmon, who finished with 17 points.
Arkansas’ Daniel Gafford played well in the post as well, scoring 16 points. But Gafford and the Razorbacks ran into foul trouble early. Missouri looked aggressive in the post, and the Tigers finished with a 37-25 rebounding advantage.
Jordan Barnett finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, his fifth double-double this season. Kassius Robertson scored 14 points.
Gafford’s 16 points led Arkansas (21-10, 10-8), which tried to use the press to draw itself closer throughout the second half. It worked to an extent, but the Razorbacks couldn’t stop fouling. The Tigers finished 27 of 33 from the free-throw line. Arkansas was just 12 of 15.
Missouri built up an eight-point lead at the break with an 11-0 run midway through the opening half followed by a late 7-0 spurt. The Tigers also put together a 12-2 run with 9:05 left in the game.
Unlike in previous contests, the Tigers were able to pull away late. Arkansas was down six with 10:18 remaining, and couldn’t pull any closer.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks had momentum following a win over No. 14 Auburn, which was their sixth win in seven games. But in a tough road environment, Arkansas had trouble defending Missouri’s post players.
Missouri: After losing three straight, Missouri has now won its last two. The Tigers’ bigs —- Porter and Tilmon — are heating up at the right time. If Missouri can continue to thrive in the paint, the Tigers will be a scary SEC tournament team.
Arkansas will continue its season in St. Louis for the SEC tournament, starting Wednesday.
Missouri will play Thursday as a five seed in the SEC tournament in St. Louis.