As brilliantly as Jordan Clarkson and Jabari Brown played for Missouri in Thursday night’s 86-85 win over Arkansas, the Tigers know a two-man show won’t get them to the NCAA Tournament.
The junior guards combined for 52 points against the Razorbacks, including 25 from the free throw line, but their supporting cast pitched in, too, including a rare sighting of reserve forward Tony Criswell. One of just two seniors on Frank Haith’s roster, Criswell had barely factored into the Tigers’ output the last two months but provided six points and six rebounds in a foul-free 19 minutes Thursday.
In a tight game that saw 11 lead changes, every point mattered.
It was the most points Criswell has scored since Mizzou’s Southeastern Conference opener against Georgia on Jan. 8. He had gone scoreless in three of the last four games as fouls sapped his playing time and aggressiveness off the bench. With Haith starved for some frontcourt production alongside starting sophomore Ryan Rosburg, Criswell...