Tigers Win Big 12 Tourney Opener 88-70

On Thursday night at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, the #5 Missouri Tigers (28-4, 14-4) began postseason play in the Big 12 Tournament with an 88-70 win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys (15-18, 7-11).

On Thursday night at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, the #5 Missouri Tigers (28-4, 14-4) began postseason play in the Big 12 Tournament with an 88-70 win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys (15-18, 7-11).

The Tigers advance onto the tournament semi-finals on Friday (9:00 P.M., Big 12 Network / ESPNU) to face the Iowa StateTexas winner, with the Finals to be played on Saturday (5:00 P.M., ESPN).

Missouri played the role of hammer to the role of nail as played by Oklahoma State, in a game was not nearly as close as the final score may appear.  The Tigers jumped out to 49-24 halftime advantage, fueled in part by 21 first-half points from Kim English.  English was brilliant, as he finished the game with 27 points, on 11-13 shooting, and 6 rebounds.  Following the game, English said that the postseason is about bringing energy.  Well, he brought the energy!

And, English had help.  Phil Pressey handed out 12 assists, and garnered 5 steals.  Ricardo Ratliffe had 11 points and 7 rebounds, and Mike Dixon chipped in with 13 points.

"The thing that I was the most pleased with was our defensive intensity, the way that we started the ball game,"  explained Missouri Head Coach Frank Haith.  "How we guarded the ball, and sped them up, and got some easy buckets in transition because of our defense."

Marcus Denmon scored 24 points on 9-14 shooting, and grabbed 8 rebounds for Mizzou.  Denmon was missing shots early, so he did what he could to assist English and the rest of his teammates, who were off to a sizzling start.  Then as the game progressed, Denmon got it going.

Denmon's career total reached 1738 points, which is currently sixth on Missouri's career scoring list.

1. Derrick Chievous (1985-88) 2,580

2. Doug Smith (1988-91) 2,184

3. Anthony Peeler (1989-92) 1,970

4. Steve Stipanovich (1980-83) 1,836

5. Arthur Johnson (2001-04) 1,759

On the game, Missouri shot 59% from the field, and had 22 assists on 35 made baskets.  The Tigers had just 10 turnovers, out-rebounded the Cowboys by a 40-20 margin, and outscored the Cowboys in the paint by a 52-20 margin.

For Oklahoma State, Keiton Page bowed out with 22 points, and Brian Williams chipped in with 21 points.

Missouri rested players in the second half.  Only English and Denmon played more than 30 minutes.


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