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

career.

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

with us.”

The Tigers have won three of four overall.