Missouri-Iowa St. Preview
The Missouri Tigers have yet to win any of their five road games
in Big 12 play this season. Their best chance of ending that
drought could come Saturday.
That’s when the 20th-ranked Tigers face a last-place Iowa State
team which hasn’t won in more than a month.
A big reason why Missouri (20-6, 6-5) has yet to win when
visiting conference rivals is its defense. Opponents are shooting
50.7 percent from the field while averaging 86.0 points in beating
Missouri as opposed to 40.5 percent shooting and 66.7 points when
the Tigers win.
However, Missouri has won two straight and three of four in Ames
since Mike Anderson became coach starting in the 2006-07 season.
Overall, Missouri has won six straight from Iowa State, including
an 87-54 rout on Jan. 22 in Columbia.
Michael Dixon led five players in double figures with 15 points
as the Tigers took a 22-point halftime lead en route to their
largest Big 12 victory this season.
Darion Anderson scored a team-high 20 for the Cyclones, who shot
a season-low 27.1 percent. No other player scored more than six for
Iowa State (14-12, 1-10).
That loss was the second of eight in a row by the Cyclones after
a 72-57 home win over Baylor on Jan. 15. They’ve been outscored by
an average of 14.0 points during the skid in which five defeats
have been by single digits and two came after overtime.
First-year coach Fred Hoiberg’s team will face a ranked club for
the third consecutive game. After losing by 23 at then-No. 2 Kansas
last Saturday, the Cyclones dropped a 71-66 decision at Texas
A&M on Monday.
“We really fought tonight,” Hoiberg said. “I was very proud of
our guys’ effort.”
Effort aside, this contest also could come down to who shoots
better from beyond the arc. Iowa State leads the Big 12 with 233
3-pointers while Missouri is second with 197.
Scott Christopherson is the Cyclones’ leader with 72 3-pointers.
Jamie Vanderbeken is second with 59, but he didn’t play against
Texas A&M due to a sprained left ankle, and is questionable to
face the Tigers.
With four more 3-pointers, Iowa State will set a new
single-season school record.
Marcus Denmon, Missouri’s top scorer with 16.3 points per game,
also leads the club with 60 3-pointers. Kim English is second with
45, and the junior guard needs two points to reach 1,000 for his
Denmon scored 18 of his 20 points in the first half, and English
tallied 14 of his 16 after the break in the Tigers’ 92-84 win over
Texas Tech on Tuesday.
“I was trying to be a little more passive in the second half
just because I felt like I could help get some other guys
involved,” said Denmon, who eclipsed the 1,000-point mark. “A lot
of teams around the country, they have just one key player and if
you can key on him, you can stop the team. That’s not how it works
The Tigers have won three of four overall.