While the crowd was small, they were energized for Missouri's first round NIT game.

While the crowd was small, they were energized for Missouri’s first round NIT game.

On Monday, Jabari Brown said he was used to playing high minutes, when asked about how the absence of three players from the Missouri men’s basketball roster would affect him. Brown carried the team on his shoulders, scoring a game-high 30 points to help the Tigers escape with an 85-77 NIT first-round victory over Davidson on Tuesday night.

The Tigers shot 61 percent from the field in the second half to outscore the Wildcats by a 48-36 margin in the final 20 minutes as Mizzou had to battle back from two, 13-point second-half deficits.

De’Mon Brooks led Davidson (20-13) with a career-high 29 points. The Wildcats finished with two consecutive losses after winning 13 in a row to win the Southern Conference regular-season title.  They were impressed for the first 25 minutes of this game.

However, it was all Brooks for Davidson down the stretch. After a Jake Belford made layup with 14:49 to go, Brooks scored 11 of the teams next 16 points, as the Wildcats withered. Their legs looked heavy on the offensive end and they were slow getting into position on defense as the Tigers went to the free throw line converting on 15 of 19 in the final ten minutes.

With the win, Missouri advances to face the winner of Wednesday’s matchup between Southern Mississippi and Toledo.