No. 3 Missouri 71, Texas A&M 62
Missouri has so many options on offense that it isn’t surprising
when different players step up to help the Tigers keep winning.
Kim English scored 21 points and Michael Dixon added 15 on a day
where Ricardo Ratliffe was held to just four points, leading lead
No. 3 Missouri to a 71-62 win over Texas A&M on Saturday.
”Our offense is equal opportunity,” English said. ”That’s the
way coach (Frank) Haith drew it up. The go-to guy is the open man
and fortunately they just made shots.”
It was Missouri’s 12th Big 12 win which ties a school record for
most in a season.
Texas A&M cut the lead to five points on a 3-pointer by
Elston Turner with 1:22 remaining. A turnover by Phil Pressey on
the next play gave A&M the ball back.
David Loubeau had a chance to get A&M within three points,
but he was called for an offensive foul when he knocked Steve Moore
to the ground going up for the shot.
”Steve is really good at moving his feet and getting in
position to make those plays,” Haith said.
Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy seemed to think that it should
have been a block on Moore instead of an offensive foul.
”I didn’t know David could knock down a 6-9, 300-pound guy to
be honest with you,” Kennedy said. ”We’ve got to get those kind
of breaks against a very good Missouri team.”
Denmon’s 3 on the other end pushed the lead to 68-60 with 35
seconds left and his two free throws seconds later sealed the win
for Missouri (25-2, 12-2).
”We showed great poise there in the second half and made some
big stops when A&M made their run,” Haith said.
Khris Middleton, in his third game back after missing five
straight with a knee injury, had 15 points to lead A&M (13-13,
Missouri’s victory breaks a five-game losing streak for the
Tigers in College Station, a place where they hadn’t won since
2001. The Tigers had lost eight straight overall to A&M before
sweeping the series this season.
Haith said the team isn’t worried about the milestones it has
reached this season, but that he is proud of what the Tigers have
done so far.
”The focus on this team is to stay on task and stay focused on
the next play and the next game,” he said. ”But these kids should
be commended for their accomplishments.”
Michael Dixon added 15 points for Missouri and Denmon had 14.
The Aggies slowed Ratliffe, who entered the game averaging 14
The Aggies, who have lost five of their last six games, were
playing without injured point guard Dash Harris for the seventh
”They’ve got to get all their parts back,” Haith said of the
Aggies. ”Right now they don’t have Dash back and I think that
hurts this team a great deal.”
The Tigers led by 13 points with 7 1/2 minutes left before a
12-7 run by A&M cut it to 63-55 with less than 4 minutes
remaining. Missouri hit two free throws before A&M started its
Texas A&M used a 6-0 spurt early in the second half to
whittle Missouri’s lead to 34-32 with about 16 minutes remaining.
Missouri’s offense went cold in that span and the Tigers went
almost 3 minutes without scoring.
A 3-pointer by Denmon got them going again and extended the lead
to 37-32. That was the start of a 12-4 run which made it 46-36 with
12 1/2 minutes remaining. Denmon had a second 3 later in the
Kennedy liked that his team kept this one close throughout.
”Our guys have done a really good job of staying in games and
not breaking,” he said. ”I like our toughness.”
Missouri’s Matt Pressey tweaked his left ankle with about 12 1/2
minutes remaining. He went to the bench and then hobbled to the
locker room after talking with a trainer. He returned to the bench
with about 9 1/2 minutes left, but didn’t re-enter the game.
Haith said he was OK, but that he had struggled with that ankle
throughout the year.
Jordan Green finished with a season-high 14 points for