Pressey, Mizzou sharp in win over Baylor
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Phil Pressey’s first 3-point attempt went in off the glass. The sophomore guard, known more for flashy, no-look passes than his outside touch, took that sketchy success and ran with it.
Pressey scored 19 points, making four of No. 4 Missouri’s season-best 14 3-pointers, and the Tigers beat No. 6 Baylor 72-57 on Saturday. He had no 3-pointers the previous five games, but stepped up against the slumping Bears.
“It just happens like that sometimes,” Pressey said of his bank shot. “I made it, so that’s all that counts.”
Sixth man Michael Dixon also had four 3-pointers and Marcus Denmon added three for Missouri (23-2, 10-2 Big 12), which shot 50 percent from long range.
“That’s what they was giving us and that’s what we was taking. And making,” Dixon said.
Missouri is 14-0 at home with an average margin of 24 points and got an easier test a week after needing a 11-0 run to beat Kansas by three. Both games were sellouts but the matchup against Baylor (21-4, 8-4), carrying a higher ranking, failed to match that atmosphere.
Still, the Tigers said they were energized by the response from the fans in the second half.
“Yeah, it got pretty loud,” Dixon said. “The crowd does ignite us.”
Quincy Miller had 20 points and Perry Jones III had just four on 2-for-12 shooting for Baylor, which flopped for the second straight game after a 14-point home loss against No. 8 Kansas on Wednesday night. The Bears shot just 36 percent, negating a whopping 40-27 rebounding advantage.
Baylor has lost twice to Missouri and Kansas and is unbeaten otherwise.
“When Missouri is on, there is nobody in the country as good as them offensively. Nobody. Period,” coach Scott Drew said. “And when I mean on, is when they’re making their 3s. So you have to hope they’re not on. They’ve been on a lot this year.”
Baylor stopped Ricardo Ratliffe, Missouri’s lone inside threat, but nobody else. Ratliffe was held to six points on 3-for-9 shooting after entering the game shooting 75.5 percent, threatening the NCAA single-season record.
“When you’re making shots, it’s really tough to go out there and try to chase around the guys that they have that can break you down off the bounce,” Drew said. “So usually you have to give up something, and tonight we gave up the 3.”
Pierre Jackson, who had 20 points and 15 assists in a one-point loss to Missouri at home on Jan. 21, had five points on 2-for-9 shooting with five assists in the rematch. Baylor entered the game leading the Big 12 in 3-point shooting but was just 4 for 17 from long range.
The 6-foot-11 Jones, a sophomore, is a top NBA prospect, but has struggled in both meetings against Missouri, totaling eight points and four rebounds at home. He also was off at Kansas, getting five points on 1-for-8 shooting.
“The problem is he’s judged on that potential sometimes,” Drew said, “and that’s hard on everybody.”
Denmon had 16 points, passing Jon Sundvold for 10th on Missouri’s career scoring list. Dixon finished with 16 points and six assists, and Kim English had 12 points, all in the second half.
Missouri shot 48 percent from the field overall. It had 12 3-pointers twice earlier in the season, against Oklahoma and Niagara.
Pressey totaled 16 3-pointers in the first 24 games. Three of his 3-pointers on Saturday came in the first half, including two in the final 1:42 to help Missouri take a 33-29 lead.
Missouri hit six 3-pointers and Steve Moore had a dunk during a 20-6 run that broke open a one-point game midway through the second half. Dixon had the last two from well beyond the line for a 58-43 cushion with just over eight minutes left, and his 3-pointer started the run.
Baylor had a 13-1 rebounding advantage early, taking full advantage of its height advantage against Missouri’s four-guard attack.
Baylor has lost 11 in a row at Missouri and hasn’t won in Columbia since 1948. The Bears have lost nine in a row to top-10 opponents.