No. 9 Missouri 84, Texas 73

Missouri needed someone to step up, and Phil Pressey was not

shy.

The sophomore point guard had 18 points, including seven

straight to get the ninth-ranked Tigers out of trouble in the

second half of an 84-73 victory over Texas on Saturday.

Pressey had 10 assists, and perhaps his most impressive stat was

zero turnovers.

”He orchestrated the whole game,” Texas coach Rick Barnes

said. ”Look what he did for the other guys. That’s what he does.

He makes the game really easy for those other guys.”

Ricardo Ratliffe made his first eight shots and had 21 points

and Marcus Denmon had 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Tigers

(16-1, 3-1 Big 12). Ratliffe, who takes all his shots close to the

basket, entered the game leading the nation in shooting at 76.8

percent.

”I just make sure I try to finish the play whenever they look

for me,” Ratliffe said. ”I get down on myself sometimes and my

teammates pick me up because I think they don’t expect me to miss

anymore, either.”

J’Covan Brown scored 34 points, including the 1,000th of his

career, for Texas (12-5, 2-2). The point total is a record for an

opponent at the Mizzou Arena, which opened in 2004, topping Julian

Wright’s 33 points for Kansas in 2007.

Brown was 6 for 7 on 3-pointers and made all eight free

throws.

”I was just going, just playing. I wasn’t worried about

carrying my team,” Brown said. ”Coach was calling my number and I

was just making big shots.”

Myck Kabongo had 12 points and 10 assists and Jonathan Holmes

had 10 points and seven rebounds for the Longhorns. But Clint

Chapman had six points in 16 minutes while saddled with foul

trouble and Sheldon McClellan, Texas’ second-leading scorer with an

11.8-point average, was held to six points on 2-for-8 shooting.

”It was just silly turnovers, and not capitalizing off our

turnovers,” Kabongo said. ”We’ve just got to be smarter than what

we were today.”

Pressey reached double figures in assists for the fourth time

this season and the first in conference play. It helped Missouri go

to 10-0 at home, and this was the closest call.

”I tell you what, he had a terrific game,” Missouri coach

Frank Haith said. ”What he meant to us offensively, what he did

out there was tremendous. He had the ball all the time.”

Down by 16 points in the first half, Texas shaved the deficit to

five midway through the second half with an 11-3 run – Missouri’s

lone points coming on a three-point play by Pressey.

Pressey ended the threat with a 3-pointer, two free throws and a

steal and uncontested dunk in a span of 50 seconds to make it 69-57

with 8:31 to play. After McClellan scored from the baseline for

Texas, Pressey fed Steve Moore for an inside basket.

Brown missed part of Pressey’s torrid stretch while getting a

bloody lip attended to.

Denmon was the only Missouri player who didn’t score in double

figures in the last game, a victory at Iowa State on Wednesday,

with six points on 1-for-5 shooting. He had 14 points at halftime

on Saturday.

”Even though the last game I wasn’t scoring, you can do other

things to help your team win,” Denmon said. ”That’s what’s most

important.”

Missouri was 8 for 11 from 3-point range in the first half, four

of the 3s from Denmon, while taking a 43-30 lead. The Tigers were

strong inside, too, with Ratliffe hitting all five shots from

point-blank range.

Texas held its previous two opponents to 51 and 49 points, but

Missouri blew past that total early in the second half. Missouri

was just 2 for 10 on 3-pointers in the second half.

Texas had foul trouble in the first half, with Chapman limited

to two points in 4 minutes and reserve Alexis Wangmene scoreless

with four rebounds in 11 minutes.

Haith, in his first season at Missouri, beat Barnes, his mentor.

Haith was an assistant at Texas from 2001-04, including a Final

Four team and two others that made the final 16, and is 1-1 against

Barnes including an NCAA tournament loss while at Miami in

2008.

Barnes said criticism of Haith’s so-so record at Miami was

unwarranted because it was so difficult to win at that school.

”I love Frank,” Barnes said. ”Missouri did good getting him

and they’d better do everything they can to keep him.”