No. 3 Missouri 71, Texas A&M 62
Expected to contend for the Big 12 title this season, injuries
and inconsistent play have instead sunk Texas A&M to among the
league’s worst teams.
Kim English scored 21 points and Marcus Denmon had a key
3-pointer late to lift No. 3 Missouri to its seventh straight win,
71-62 over Texas A&M on Saturday.
”This year has been tough on everybody, but this team is going
to keep on fighting,” Texas A&M’s Khris Middleton said. ”We
got down and we fought back.”
Missouri tied a school record with its 12th Big 12 win.
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,” Missouri coach Frank Haith
Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy didn’t seem to see it the same
”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.”
Marcus 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).
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.
Middleton said the team has maintained a positive attitude
because the players hope they can turn things around.
”We’re all used to winning,” he said. ”None of us had losing
seasons before. No one likes losing. We’re all winners.”
Michael Dixon added 15 points for Missouri and Denmon had 14.
The Aggies slowed Ricardo Ratliffe, who entered the game averaging
14 points, but had just four Saturday.
”They’re very difficult to guard,” Kennedy said. ”You take
Ratliffe away and English hurts you. They’ve got so many
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