Missouri began the game on a 10-2 run, and the Tigers never trailed. It wasn't pretty, but the Tigers got the job done.
"We struggled shooting the basketball," explained Coach Haith . "The way the game was played, they were going to take away the paint from us, and they weren't going to let us throw it inside to Ricardo (Ratliffe) like we want to, and normally do. We had to make shots. The biggest difference here from the other night was our defense helped us stay in the game."
Missouri got 22 points from Kim English, and Marcus Denmon went 10-10 from the free throw line to finish with 19 points, despite another poor shooting performance from the field by the All-American candidate. Denmon also led the Tigers with 6 rebounds. I thought that Denmon played a great game, except for just not making shots. Coach Haith concurred.
"Marcus was really good, because he had good shots," explained Coach Haith. "The thing is, he's just not shooting it well today, or the other day. But I don't worry about that, and I don't want him worrying about that, because he is a good shooter, and it's going to come back. Marcus is doing the other things. He's rebounding, and he's getting to the free throw line. And, he played much better defense today."
Phil Pressey finished the game with 12 assists and 4 steals.
"Phil (Pressey) was in the flow of finding his teammates," said Coach Haith. "And, I thought he did a really good job of that."
Missouri shot 83% from the FT line, but just 40% from the field. Texas Tech out-rebounded Missouri by a 31-27 margin, but the Tigers forced 21 Red Raider turnovers, and scored 27 points off of turnovers.
Texas Tech Head Coach Billy Gillispie's leading scorer, 6'7" freshman forward Jordan Tolbert, was in foul trouble, and wasn't much of a factor in the game.
The Red Raiders were led in scoring by 6'1" junior Ty Nurse, with 13 points, and 6'7" sophomore Jaye Crockett, who scored 11 points. But, the real leader for Texas Tech was 5'9" freshman Luke Adams, who continually challenged Missouri on both ends of the floor.
After the game, Coach Haith stated that he thought that the Tigers played better on the defensive end. I agree that Missouri's defense was better against Texas tech than it had been at Oklahoma State. But, I think that if Missouri wants to reach their goals for this season, they are going to need to improve defensively.
At the end of the day, Missouri did what they needed to do to get the win.
"Sometimes there's going to be games like this where teams scout you, and they take some things away," explained Coach Haith. "There's different formulas for winning a basketball game. One formula that we want to try to be consistent with is getting to the (free throw) line."