The Missouri Tigers (15-3) victimized the Iowa State Cyclones Saturday, laying a 31-point beat down on their conference foes. The 77-46 win extended the Tigers' home winning streak to 13, and kept them undefeated in the Mizzou Arena this season. A season-high attendance of 12,403 showed up for Saturday's contest.
Junior guard Zaire Taylor got the Tigers started early on offense, putting up seven points in the first five minutes of the game by converting his first two field-goal attempts and first three shots from the charity stripe. Big men Demarre Carroll and Keith Ramsey also contributed to Tigers' lead with early three-pointers.
While Missouri's offense wasn't lacking Saturday, it was their defense that set the tone for the game. "The way we started the game was exactly what we were trying to avoid," said Cyclones head Coach Greg McDermott. "I think we turned it over seven times the first 13 possessions of the game.
That fed Missouri's offense and got them off to a good start. I think they felt a level of confidence that we weren't quite able to reverse." The Tigers rode that early lead and confidence into the locker room, heading into halftime with a nine-point lead.
Missouri head coach Mike Anderson was also pleased with his team's defensive performance. "What a defensive effort by our guys." he said. "It's another game where I thought the mindset of our guys keyed in to play defense, and I thought defense has been the constant in the last two games."
Missouri came out hot in the second half and never let up. Ramsey got the scoring onslaught started with his second three-point field goal of the night and just his fifth of the season. It was Missouri's success at the three-point line that paved the way for the large margin of victory.
"To their credit, they really shot the ball well the second half." said McDermott. "Any team that shoots 10-of-14 from the three-point line in a half is probably going to win."
Freshman guard Marcus Denmon was the hottest of the Tigers from deep, nailing four-of-six three-pointers. Kim English hit three-of-four, and the Tigers ultimately shot better than 50-percent from beyond the arc.
Anderson caught some criticism from fans for having Denmon take a potential game-tying three-pointer in the waning seconds of the Nebraska loss earlier this year, but Saturday Denmon showed why his coach had such confidence in a freshman, and Denmon isn't shy in the confidence department either.
"Well, I'm always pretty confident when I go out there. Whether I make it or miss it, I always go out with confidence. It's something our coach tells us, if you get a good shot, take it. So I'm always pretty confident with it" Denmon said.
The Tiger will try to use the confidence they've exuded in their last two lopsided victories when they take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in Stillwater, Ok. Wednesday night.