Mizzou wins first round of Big 12 Tourney

It can never be easy! After jumping out to a 15+ point lead in the second half, Missouri withstood a fierce rush by Nebraska to pull out a much needed win in the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City.

A win today would ensure Missouri would be NIT eligible, as well as keep them alive in the Big 12 Tournament, the winner of which is assured a bid to the NCAA Big Dance.

Missouri didn't disappoint, beating Nebraska for the third time this season, 70-67. The Tigers advance to play conference co-champion Oklahoma tomorrow in the second round.

Linas Kleiza scored 26 points to lead Missouri (16-15), and was clutch from the free throw line as well.

Kleiza, the Tigers' leading scorer and rebounder, was held scoreless by Nebraska's zone defense until he hit a short jumper late in the first half. His 26 points were the most scored in a Big 12 tournament game against Nebraska (14-14), which has lost seven tournament games in a row and six straight in the first round.

Thomas Gardner added 13 for Missouri, which won for only the second time this year away from home.

Missouri also benefited from solid free throw shooting from Kevin Young, and opportunistic rebounding from Kalen Grimes.

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