Missouri to host Iowa State in BIG 12 matchup

The Missouri Tigers are off to one of its best starts in some time. The Tigers host Iowa State in a key Big 12 matchup here Saturday, another win is crucial in the Tiger's bid for post season play. Winning at home is key in the Big 12, Missouri can't afford to overlook the Cyclones.

University of Missouri Tigers (14-3, 1-1) vs. Iowa State University Cyclones (12-5, 1-1)

2008-09 Regular Season Game 18 - January 17, 2009 - Columbia, Mo.

Tip-off: 12:46 p.m. CST

Arena: Mizzou Arena - Columbia, Mo. (15,061)

TV: Big 12 Network - (Mitch Holthus play-by-play; Coach Rich Zvosec analyst)

Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly play-by-play; Gary Link analyst)

Rankings: Mizzou: RV/RV, Iowa State: NR/NR in Associated Press / USA Today Coaches polls

Series: Missouri leads 141-84 overall; in Columbia the Tigers lead 80-21


Missouri: Mike Anderson (Tulsa '82); 137-72 overall (7th season); 48-31 at Mizzou (3rd)

Iowa State: Greg McDermott (Northern Iowa, ‘88) 262-166 overall (15); 41-39 at ISU (3rd)

For Openers

Missouri Basketball returns to action on Saturday looking for back-to-back league victories, as the Tigers face Iowa State ... The Tigers and Cyclones played the longest game in Mizzou Arena history in last season's league finale, with the Tigers coming away with an 81-75 double-overtime win.

Missouri has won 12 consecutive home games dating back to that double OT win over the Clones last season.

Those 12 straight home wins are just one shy of the Mizzou Arena record ... The Tigers won 13 straight over the 2006-07 / 2007-08 seasons before a home loss to Kansas ended that run last winter.

Missouri's 12-game home court winning streak is the 14th longest in school history, but a win Saturday would push it up to No. 10.

Talk about rallying in a big way! Missouri scored a season-low 51 points at Nebraska last Saturday, but regrouped to score a season-high tying 107 vs. Colorado on Wednesday (including 59 points in the second half alone).

The 107 points were the most ever by the Tigers in a Big 12 regulation game and the most since scoring 112 vs. Iowa State in an epic four-overtime contest (112-109) on Jan. 13, 2001.

Missouri is off to its best start (14-3) since the 1994-95 season ... A win on Saturday would push Missouri's record to 15-3 and have them just one win off their win total from the entire 2007-08 campaign.

Missouri has simply been dominant at home this season and is averaging an incredible 91.3 points per game at Mizzou Arena in running their home record to 11-0.

The Tigers boast a 31.3 ppg margin of victory at home this season, including a 45-point win over Colorado (eighth-largest margin of victory ever in a Big 12 Conference game) and a 27-point win (93-66) over a California team now ranked in the Top 25.

A huge key for Missouri will be the play of its bench. Missouri's "kamikaze line" is averaging 32.6 points a game this season and has outscored the entire teams of Arkansas-Pine Bluff (50-41), Stetson (45-44) and SIU Edwardsville (62-57) and tied Colorado (62-62). The 62 tallies vs. SIUE and Colorado tied the school record.

The Tigers rank among the nation's leaders in several statistical categories heading into Saturday's game.

Mizzou is No. 8 nationally in scoring at 84.6 ppg, No. 1 in assists per game at 19.8, No. 2 in steals per game at 11.0 and No. 2 nationally in assist/turnover ratio at 1.6.

Another fun stat: Missouri is No. 6 nationally with 63.8 FG attempts per game and the Tigers have already shot 161 more FGs than their opponents through 17 games thanks to their impressive turnover margin (+7.1).

About The Iowa State Cyclones

Like Missouri, Iowa State comes into Saturday's contest 1-1 in Big 12 play and is 12-5 overall following a 65-53 win over Nebraska this week ... The young Cyclones have steadily improved for Head Coach Greg McDermott and have won five of their last six heading into Saturday's game at Mizzou Arena.

Iowa State is led by one of the Big 12's most talented big men, Craig Brackins ... Brackins is averaging 18.5 points and 8.9 rebounds on the season and his 38-point effort at Houston in an ISU road win is the most points scored in the league this season ... Sophomores Diante Garrett (10.5 ppg) and Lucca Staiger (9.3 ppg) round out the top scorers for Iowa State, who come to Columbia with a 2-3 road record this season.

Mizzou Arena - House of Horrors

Mizzou Arena has been a house of horrors for opponents this season as the Tigers have run their record to 11-0 and average 31.3 ppg margin of victory.

The Tigers have won 10-of-11 games by double figure margins, 9-of-11 by 20+ points and have three wins by 45 points or more.

The Tigers also have a huge quality win at home this year, stopping California by 27 (93-66) back on Dec. 7 ... The Bears are ranked in the Top 25 since that loss to Mizzou.

Balance Is Leading Tigers To Huge Scores

Missouri has had six players reach double figures in a game twice this season, a feat that hasn't been accomplished twice in the same year since 2001-02.

DeMarre Carroll (21), Miguel Paul (12), Marcus Denmon (11), Leo Lyons (11), Laurence Bowers (10) and Kim English (10) accomplished the feat vs. SIU Edwardsville.

Laurence Bowers (16), DeMarre Carroll (13), Justin Safford (13), Marcus Denmon (13), J.T. Tiller (13), and Kim English (12) also did it vs. Colorado.

In fact, Missouri leads the Big 12 Conference and has tied a school record with 11 different players having reached double figures in at least one game this season.

High Scoring Tigers

The 2008-09 Tigers are the highest scoring squad at Mizzou in 20 years ... Missouri's 84.6 ppg average is the highest since the 1988-89 squad registered 86.8 points per game en route to a 29-8 mark.

This season's club has topped the 80-point plateau in 12-of-17 games and has reached the century mark three times, including 107 points vs. Colorado, which is the most for Missouri in a Big 12 regulation game (no overtimes).

If You Build It ... They Will Come

Attendance has been a hot-button issue across the country, but Missouri is on the upward trend in Mike Anderson's third season. With great attendances expected throughout Big 12 play, Missouri is already averaging 652 more fans per game in 2008-09 than the Tigers did after the initial home game of Big 12 play last season.

It's important to note that Missouri uses actual attendance figures, not tickets sold.

In fact, if you look at non-conference play alone, Missouri averaged 1,119 more fans per game in preseason play this season than they did one year ago, the highest figure since 2004-05.

L-Bow Ready To Go

His alley-oop vs. Coppin State was the No. 1 play on ESPN's Top 10 Plays of the Day and he leads the Tigers in dunks (6) despite averaging just 9.8 minutes a game, but Tiger fans have been watching the steady growth of freshman forward Laurence Bowers and it reached new heights following a 16-point outburst vs. Colorado.

Bowers played a career high 19 minutes vs. the Buffaloes and hit 7-of-8 shots from the floor, while dishing two assists, blocking a shot and recording two steals ... In fact, Bowers' only miss of the night came on yet another alley-oop attempt, one that would have most likely earned him a repeat appearance on Plays of the Day.

Lyons' Status Still Under Evaluation

Mizzou Head Coach Mike Anderson suspended senior forward Leo Lyons indefinitely after the Kansas City native was arrested for failing to pay a traffic ticket back in 2006 and not having proof of insurance during a Sunday night traffic stop for improper lights.

Lyons sat out Wednesday's game vs. Colorado and is still under suspension as we approach Saturday's game.

Lyons had started the first-16 games for Missouri this season and was second on the club in both scoring (14.6) and rebounding (6.2).

Stay tuned to InsideMizzou.com for indepth live game coverage by our own Pat Clifton.

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