Out with a bang: No. 8 Missouri rallies to knock off Iowa State on Senior Night

(Photo: Rich Sugg-Kansas City Star)

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Michael Dixon led all scorers with 19 points off the bench to help no. 8 Missouri knock off Iowa State 78-72 at Mizzou Arena. The victory clinches the no. 2 seed in next week’s Big 12 tournament for the Tigers, who recorded their 13th conference win Wednesday night.

“Iowa State is a terrific ball club,” Missouri coach Frank Haith said after the game. “I said this early on, they are an NCAA Tournament team. They have one of the toughest matchups in the country in Royce White. He’s just a load to guard.”

Dixon bounced back from last week’s debacle in the final seconds of overtime versus Kansas, scoring the game-winning lay-up with 3:36 left. Senior Marcus Denmon nailed a three-pointer before Phil Pressey stole the ball from Iowa State’s Scott Christopherson and took it coast-to-coast for an easy layup to push the score to 71-64 with 1:23 left.

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Oh Captain, My Captain: Denmon scores 29 to lead no. 4 Missouri over no. 8 Kansas

Senior guard Marcus Denmon scored 29 points to lead no. 4 Missouri to a 74-71 victory over no. 8 Kansas Saturday night at Mizzou Arena. (Photo: Chris Lee-St. Louis Post Dispatch)

COLUMBIA, MO – After struggling through his last five games, Marcus Denmon roared back Saturday night, racking up 29 points, including nine points in the final two minutes as part of an 11-0 run to help no. 4 Missouri knock off the no. 8 Kansas Jayhawks 74-71 at Mizzou Arena.

“[Denmon] got into a rhythm and when Marcus gets into a rhythm he can rattle off a few shots in a row. And I think at that point in time he just got in a rhythm,” Coach Frank Haith said after the game.

Denmon, who entered the game having hit just eight of his last 39 shots from behind the arc, drained a career-high six of nine 3-pointers. He also broke out of a five-game shooting slump, hitting a team-best ten of 16 shots.

“My teammates did a really good job of finding me spots where I was fortunate enough to make shots,” Denmon said. “Tyshawn (Taylor) missed some big free throws and that gave us a chance to get back in the game. But I think we did it on the defensive end even though we made shots at the end of the game.”

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No. 9 Missouri Tigers bounce back against Iowa State Cyclones for first Big 12 road win of the season

AIMES, IA – The no. 9 Missouri Tigers overcame a sluggish start to record their first conference road win of the season Wednesday night with a 76-69 victory over the Iowa State Cyclones in Aimes.

“It was a great win for us,” coach Frank Haith said after the game. “ I thought our guys found a way to grind out a road win.”

Mizzou’s depth was tested late in the second half after Kim English and Steve Moore fouled out, leaving the team with just five players for the final minutes of the game.

“We were mentally tough down the stretch, as far as getting stops and rebounding,” Matt Pressey said. “We’ve really grown from that standpoint.”

Pressey was one of six players to score in double figures for the Tigers, who shot almost 52% from the field as a team.

“They’ve bought into playing together as a team,” Haith said. “We’ve got a lot of guys that can score. But we don’t have a lot of guys. It’s no secret. We’re not going to get any taller between now and the end of the year. We’re not going to add any dudes. This is what we got.”

While senior Ricardo Ratliffe finished the game with twelve points and eight rebounds, foul trouble forced him to play conservatively on defense, rendering him basically ineffective against ISU’s Royce White, who finished the game with 16 points.

“I think [Ratliffe] did a great job tonight staying in the game regardless of getting fouls,” Pressey said. “It’s going to happen, big guys are going to come at him and I think he did a terrific job staying in the game.”

With Ratliffe in foul trouble and unable to contain White, coach Frank Haith turned to senior forward Steve Moore. Moore, who entered the game averaging 3.8 points per game, ended up with ten points and nine rebounds.

“I was just trying to do what was expected of me: come off the bench and deliver that spark,” Moore said. “Our guards did a good job of getting me and Ricardo the ball and we were able to capitalize and get points under the basket.”

Phil Pressey (12), Michael Dixon (12), and Kim English (12) also scored in double figures for the Tigers, who are now 15-1 on the season.

Mizzou’s leading scorer Marcus Denmon finished the game with just six points and was the only player who did not score in double figures for the Tigers. Iowa State locked down Denmon throughout the game, limiting him to just eight total shots. Despite being unable to find open looks against the Cyclone defense, Denmon was able to find his open teammates, picking up seven of Mizzou’s 20 assists.

“If we do our job and be aggressive and make plays, they’re going to have to pick their poison,” Pressey said. “If they’re going to deny him and leave guys open, we’re going to step in and make those shots.”

Iowa State led 38-36 at halftime after hitting eight of twelve three-point attempts in the first half, including one from just beyond half court as time expired.

Scott Christopherson led all scorers with 19 points for the Cyclones, who finished with four players in double figures.

ISU’s strong shooting performance was overshadowed by their struggles at the free throw line, where they converted on just 13 of their 25 free throw attempts, and on the glass, where Mizzou out-rebounded them 36-25, despite facing a significant height disadvantage.

“They made the effort plays all night. We executed our game plan perfectly. They make five 3s in 21 attempts. We just weren’t tough enough,” Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg said.

The Tigers return home for a matchup against the Texas Longhorns Saturday afternoon. This is the last time Mizzou will play back-to-back home games until mid-February. Missouri and Texas will tip-off from Mizzou Arena at high noon on Saturday.


Know your enemy: No. 22 Kansas State Wildcats

The no. 6 Missouri Tigers (14-0, 1-0) will face one of their toughest tests of the season on Saturday afternoon when they travel to Manhattan, Kansas to take on the no. 22 Kansas State Wildcats (11-2, 1-0).

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No. 10 Tigers sink Midshipmen 84-59

Senior Ricardo Ratliffe finished with 14 points for Mizzou, who improved to 9-0 for the first time since the '06-'07 season. (Photo: Benjamin Zack|Columbia Missourian)

COLUMBIA, MO – The no. 10 Missouri Tigers overcame a slow start against Navy to cruise to an 84-59 victory Saturday evening. With the win, Mizzou improves to 9-0 for the first time since the 2006-2007 season and extends its non-conference home court win streak to 64 games.

For the second game in a row, the Tigers were challenged by their opponent. Last week, they had to overcome a poor shooting performance against Villanova, but it was the Midshipmen’s physical style of play that slowed Mizzou on Saturday.

“You can get beat in this game, and Navy is a team that was very capable of that,” Missouri coach Frank Haith said after the game. “I commend our guys because I knew that they were going to play tempo. And for us to come out here and win by 25, that’s a heck of a job. They didn’t turn the ball over and they worked us. We had to play defense for 35 seconds. That was good and healthy for us to go through that.”

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