Guards fueling Mizzou’s terrific play

Missouri does not intend to keep the lone big man in its starting lineup, Ricardo Ratliffe, from becoming a factor offensively.
  
But when Ratliffe managed just four points against Texas A&M on Feb. 18, the Tigers easily had enough firepower to overcome that deficiency.
  
Their guards, who have been terrific all season either driving the ball or spotting up for jumpers, took over scoring slack and bounced the Aggies 71-62. Missouri improved to 25-2, matching the 1989-90 squad for the best start in school history. At 12-2 in the Big 12, the Tigers remained tied with Kansas with a Feb. 25 matchup looming in Lawrence.
  
“They move the ball so well, and they’re so disciplined offensively and so unselfish that they’re difficult to guard,” Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said.
  
Good shooting also factors into the Tigers’ success. They made 56.1 percent of their attempts against Texas A&M, though they led by just five late in the game before getting a key defensive stop when backup forward Steve Moore drew a charge.
  
The accuracy against A&M marked the 14th time this season Missouri has shot 50 percent or better. It ranks third in Division I with a .503 percentage on the season.