Missouri Coach Knew What To Expect

FAYETTEVILLE -- Missouri coach Mike Anderson warned his team what it was going to be like playing against Arkansas in Bud Walton Arena.

It was going to be difficult. It was going to be loud. It was going to be intimidating.

And it was.

A season-high 18,621 rabid fans showed up to prove Anderson's point as they raised the roof with their enthusiasm as Arkansas held on for a 94-91 win on Wednesday night.

Anderson, who spent 17 years as an assistant at Arkansas under Nolan Richardson, was making his first appearance in Bud Walton since March 2, 2002.

On that date, he was Arkansas' interim head coach in the final regular-season game against Vanderbilt. Arkansas won 81-67.

"I think any time you go on the road it's tough," Anderson said. "I know in our days here, it was one of the toughest places in the country to play. Arkansas fans are very good basketball fans.

"There's no question about it, it was something new for our plays. It's something we can learn from."

Missouri guard Stefhon Hannah, who finished with a game-high 28 points, said he knew what to expect.

"Coach told us what it was going to be like," Hannah said. "He said it's a hostile environment and they have great fans. They made a lot of noise and that caused some problems at times.

"Yeah, we knew what we were in for before the game."

Simply playing in Bud Walton Arena really wasn't the reason the Tigers lost the squeaker. The intangibles also played a role.

"I just think they wanted it more than we did tonight," Missouri forward Matt Lawrence said. "In the end that was the difference I think. They played a great game."

Anderson, too, said his team blew too many opportunities.

"We just did not capitalize on our opportunities," Anderson said. "They capitalized on their opportunities when they got them. We didn't make our plays down the stretch and they did.

"I always tell our guys enjoy it until midnight or let it hurt you until midnight. Then, let it go. It's over."

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