Based on the stat sheet, freshman Wes Clark and junior Jabari Brown exchanged numbers Wednesday night.
Clark, who entered the game shooting 28 percent in Southeastern Conference play, was perfect from the field. Brown, who entered the game leading the SEC in scoring, was not. He made just three of his 11 field goal attempts in Missouri’s 67-64 victory against Vanderbilt.
The freshman guard played his most efficient game of the season, going 3-for-3 from the field, including 2-of-2 from 3-point range.
“Clark was the one that came in and hurt us,” Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stallings said. “He came in and gave them more than we needed, and that’s a tough thing to overcome.”
Clark’s production came as the rest of the team struggled. He made both of his first-half attempts, while the rest of the Tigers shot 5-for-19 in the first period.
Brown shot just 1-for-6 in the first half, and while the rest of Missouri’s team picked it up in the second, Brown didn’t, going 2-for-7.
“I think it was a solar eclipse tonight or something, because you rarely see him miss shots that he’s used to taking, and making,” Missouri junior guard Jordan Clarkson said. “I think this is just a once-in-a-time game. He’s going to be right back to his old self this next game.”
Stallings didn’t take credit for Brown’s struggles.
“I just don’t think he had a good night,” Stallings said. “He never got into a flow, and whether we had something to do with that defensively, I’m not sure. I’m sure there was a little bit, but he just never really got on track, and I think that probably had more to do with him than it had to do with us, honestly.”
Although Brown still topped Clark in the scoring department, his lack of efficiency was uncharacteristic. Brown entered the game shooting 49.8 percent, while Clark hadn’t shot better than 50 percent since Feb. 1 against Kentucky.
Clark’s efficiency showed in other aspects. He had one assist and no turnovers while playing tight defensively.
“Wes is a tough kid; I think he battles,” Haith said.
Clark played 25 minutes, the most since the last time Missouri faced Vanderbilt Jan. 16 in Nashville.
“I just played with confidence from my leaders, like Jabari, Jordan and E.J. (Earnest Ross). They keep me ready to go so I can step in with confidence and make shots,” Clark said.