No. 13 Missouri 116, Cent. Arkansas 63
Central Arkansas coach Corliss Williamson and Missouri coach
Mike Anderson both learned the ”Forty Minutes of Hell” from
longtime Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson.
The No. 13 Tigers did the better impression on Saturday
Marcus Denmon scored 21 points and Laurence Bowers added 20 on
8-of-9 shooting to lead Missouri to a 116-63 victory.
”It brought back a lot of memories to see (Williamson) down the
bench and a lot of emotion at the same time,” Anderson said. ”I’m
proud of him and I think he’s going to do a great job but I thought
those kids were kind of rattled early on.”
Williamson played for Richardson at Arkansas while Anderson was
an assistant coach there. The two won a national championship in
1994 and were runners-up in 1995.
Both have adopted Richardson’s trademark up-tempo style that
emphasizes full-court defense. The Tigers forced 24 turnovers and
held Central Arkansas to 31 percent shooting.
”It was one of the reasons I put this game on the schedule,”
Williamson said. ”We wanted to play a team that has mastered the
style of play we are trying to emulate.”
The 116 points were the most scored in Mizzou Arena since its
inception in 2004. The previous record of 107 had been achieved
twice in the last two seasons.
Missouri, which shot 66 percent, opened the game with a 15-2 run
and put up a season-high 54 points in the first half. The Tigers
finished with seven players in double figures for the fourth time
in school history and first since Dec. 2, 1995 against Chicago
”We shared the basketball tonight,” Anderson said. ”The thing
I like about it is when you talk about 33 assists on 45 field
goals. That’s being pretty efficient.”
The Tigers were without starting point guard Michael Dixon, who
was suspended indefinitely on Wednesday for an undisclosed
violation of team rules.
After the game, Anderson said the sophomore would be allowed to
practice for the first time on Sunday but did not specify whether
Dixon would be available for the team’s game against No. 16
Illinois on Wednesday in St. Louis.
”He’s keeping his head in it and he’s one of our biggest
cheerleaders right now,” Bowers said. ”Mike’s doing great and
he’ll be back with us soon.”
Phil Pressey started in place of Dixon for the second
consecutive game and scored a career-high 15 points and tied a
school record for assists by a freshman with 11.
If Pressey gets the start on Wednesday, his teammates say they
have full confidence the youngster won’t be affected by the
atmosphere of a big game.
”Phil’s been playing great and personally I think he can play
even better,” Bowers said. ”The guy has 27 assists over the last
three games and I think he can do the same thing against
Mike Pouncey scored 11 points for the Bears (3-8), who were
without starting guard Dewan Clayborn, who was sidelined because of
an ankle injury.
”It just seemed like they were unconscious tonight,” said
Williamson. ”No matter what defense we ran they were knocking down
shots and that makes it very difficult.”
The win pushes Missouri’s non-conference home win streak to 54,
with all but seven of those coming under Anderson. The 10-1 start
is the Tigers’ best in Anderson’s five seasons as coach.
Missouri also announced Saturday that reserve forward John
Underwood, who saw limited playing time in his two years, was
leaving the program due to undisclosed personal issues.