English and Dixon celebrate
Following a media time out with 7:27 remaining in the first half, Missouri came back onto the court and turned it up defensively. The Tigers had gone into that timeout with a 25-18 lead. For the next 22 minutes, until the media timeout with 5:43 remaining in the game, Missouri played very, very well, and outscored the Sooners 53-20 during that span. At that point, with Missouri leading 78-38, Coach Haith inserted Andrew Jones into the game. A couple of minutes later, Jarrett Sutton and Andy Rosburg joined Jones on the floor.
Kim English led all scorers, with 23 points, on 8 of 12 shooting, including 5 of 8 from behind the arc, and 9 big rebounds. Midway through the second half, Oklahoma put up a shot, and English had sealed his man away from the rebound. As English blocked his man off the board, the Oklahoma player was called for going over English's back.
Marcus Denmon scored 20 points, on 7 of 12 shooting, including 4 of 7 from behind the arc, and grabbed 7 rebounds. Ricardo Ratliffe added 13 points, on 6 of 7 shooting, and grabbed 8 rebounds. Mike Dixon scored 13 points, and Phil Pressey handed out 7 assists.
Missouri shot 59% from the field, including 57% from behind the 3-PT line. And, the Tigers out-rebounded Oklahoma 38-23.
For Oklahoma, Andrew Fitzgerald scored 18 points.
The game was played at a fast pace, and for the first 13 minutes, the Tigers were sloppy with the basketball, and sloppy on the defensive end. But after Coach Haith and his staff corralled everyone on the sideline, Mizzou tightened it up on both ends of the floor.
Following the game, Coach Haith talked about his team's conference-opening win.
"We challenged our guys, if we had an opportunity to get a lead in this ball game, to show some maturity and some growth, and not take a play off," said Coach Haith. "And, I thought the guys did that tonight."
"Our ability to rebound the basketball is going to determine how successful we're going to be all year," Coach Haith continued. "We understand we're undermanned, in terms of size. But, rebounding isn't always about how tall you are. It's about heart. It's about passion. It's about desire. And, we did a good job of blocking those guys out, and tonight was one of those nights where we really did a great job of securing the ball……………………………… We really stayed with our guys and rebounded the basketball."