Missouri Hangs 84-73 Loss On Longhorns

On Saturday afternoon at Mizzou Arena, the #9 Missouri Tigers (16-1, 3-1) built a 16-point first-half lead, then held on to defeat the Texas Longhorns (12-5, 2-2), by the final score of 84-73.

On Saturday afternoon at Mizzou Arena, the #9 Missouri Tigers (16-1, 3-1) built a 16-point first-half lead, then held on to defeat the Texas Longhorns (12-5, 2-2), by the final score of 84-73.

Missouri players appeared larger then life thanks to Mizzou fans and their signs.

St. Louis Cardinal and World Series MVP David Freese watch the Mizzou victory and acknowledges the crowd.

Ricardo Ratliffe led Tigers scorers with 21 points.

The Big 12's leading scorer, 6'1" junior guard J'Covan Brown, poured in 34 points for the Longhorns, but Missouri got 21 points from Ricardo Ratliffe, and a pair of double-doubles, including an 18-point, 10-assist performance from Phil Pressey, and an 18-point, 11-rebound performance from Marcus Denmon.

"Obviously, (Phil Pressey) has the ball a lot,"  said Coach Haith, talking about the role that his sophomore point guard played in the Tigers' win.  "He played a tremendous game!  He did a great job, and he was outstanding!"

Kimmie English celebrates after a score

Kim English chipped in with 14 points for the Tigers, who shot 54% from the field, and assisted on 20 of their 29 made baskets.

"We were popping offensively,"  explained Coach Haith, following his team's home win over his friend and former mentor's squad.  "We were crisp!  We got some early looks in transition.  I think we made 8 threes in the first half.  Our offensive execution was great!  But, I was still concerned, because (Texas) was getting their hands on a lot of offensive rebounds."

Coach Rick Barnes' talented, young team won the battle of the boards 36-26 against Missouri, and converted their 16 offensive rebounds into 17 points.   And, the Longhorns' 6'1" freshman point guard Myck Kabongo posted his own double-double, with 12 points and 10 assists.

"Texas is big, and I know they preach rebounding,"  said Coach Haith, talking about the yeoman effort that Denmon produced on the glass.  "I thought Marcus' rebounding ability really helped us today."

The young Texas squad made several runs at the Tigers' lead, and cut it to 5 midway through the second half.  The Longhorns turned it up on the defensive end, face-guarded Denmon, and Brown just lit it up from everywhere.

With Phil Pressey leading the way, Missouri held off each Longhorns' challenge, and eventually pulled away and ran out the clock.

"It was a great team effort,"  said Coach Haith, talking about his team's win on Saturday.  "I thought Marcus (Denmon) early in the first half really got us going, but he also had 11 rebounds in a game where we were really struggling rebounding the basketball."

Missouri outscored Texas 34-26 in the paint, and forced Texas into 14 turnovers.  The Tigers outscored the Longhorns  20-2 in points-off-turnovers.

"We were really good in transition,"  said Coach Haith.


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