On Vanderbilt’s Senior Night, it was Missouri freshman Jontay Porter who stole the show.
Porter scored a career-high 24 points on 9-of-10 shooting as Missouri won its first game in six tries at VU’s Memorial Gymnasium on Tuesday night by a 74-66 count.
Forward Jordan Barnett added 17 for Missouri (19-11, 9-8 Southeastern Conference), while forward Jeff Roberson (19) and guard Riley LaChance (17) led the Commodores. Roberson and Porter tied for the game high with seven rebounds each.
Missouri trailed for much of the first half, but took its first lead since an early 12-10 advantage when Porter hit a long 3 with 16:25 left. The Tigers never trailed again.
Vanderbilt, which had made a living behind the 3-point line in the first half, couldn’t hit anywhere for much of the second. VU’s first 3-pointer after the break came at the 7:32 mark.
The Tigers (12-of-22) had no such trouble from long distance. A pair of consecutive open 3s from Barnett, the second with 7:45 left, put Missouri up 52-40.
LaChance followed with a 3-pointer and brought the Commodores to within nine. Vandy guard Max Evans hit another soon thereafter.
But Porter kept bringing answers. He added a mid-range jumper between the Vandy 3s, then, added a long 3 and a dunk in succession, the latter giving Missouri its biggest lead of the night at 64-49 with 4:10 left.
Vanderbilt (11-19, 5-12) held a 32-30 halftime lead after shooting 8-for-15 on 3-pointers in the first half, though it went just 4-of-12 on two-point field goals. Roberson’s 13 led all scorers at half.
Missouri hung tight by going 5-of-11 from long distance and shooting 50 percent overall. But the Tigers were hurt by nine first-half turnovers.
Missouri guard Michael Porter, the nation’s No. 1 recruit in the 2017 class, didn’t play. Porter has been practicing and is thought to be close to returning. He suffered an injury two minutes into Missouri’s first game, and hasn’t played since.
The Commodores started senior guard Matthew Fisher-Davis, LaChance, and Roberson for Senior Night.
Fisher-Davis had been out for the season with a shoulder injury suffered in late January, and exited after four seconds.
This was the first time in the 12-game series that either team has grabbed a road win. One contest came on a neutral site.
—Field Level Media