17 March 2011

Tigers downed by Bearcats, 78-63

Tigers end season 23-11, 9-9
by MizzMatt
Washington, DC- The Tigers will have to sit out the rest of this Dance, as they're handed an opening round loss against the 6-seed Cincinnati Bearcats (26-8).  Missouri got out to an electric start, but went a full 10:00 without a field goal.  Cincinnati built up a comfortable lead during that time, and when the Tigers started making a run similar to that of the Kansas game, the Bearcat post men were just too tough and kept Mizzou at bay.  Final score in DC was Mizzou 63, Cincinnati 78.

Ricardo Ratliffe led the Tigers with 13 points.  Marcus Denmon, who many were relying on to have an outstanding game, came out lackluster.  Denmon finished with 10 points on 3-11 shooting.  Michael Dixon and Laurence Bowers both finished in double digits, with 11 and 10 points respectively.

Kim English, left, consoles an emotional Michael Dixon.
As a team, the Tigers struggled much like they did against Texas A&M and Kansas.  They struggled from the field, shooting 24-65 (36.9%) on field goals, 6-19 (31.6%) on 3-pointers and even struggled on free throws, going 9-13 (69.2%) from the charity stripe.  Cincinnati pounded it in the paint for 52.1% shooting overall, but only shot 36.4% from beyond the arc.  Missouri was out-rebounded by the Bearcats, 35-28, but the Tigers did have the turnover margin on their side, forcing 10 (well below season average) and coughing up 7.

This was the Tigers' first game against the Cats, but it was Mike Anderson's fourth.  Anderson drops to 1-3 all time against Cincinnati with the loss, and his future with Missouri is one to be speculated.  Rumors have it that Arkansas is now interested in bringing the Razorback native back to his home state.  Arkansas was waiting until after Missouri got bounced out of the tournament before making a move on Anderson, and it is likely they'll move on him hard, despite Anderson saying that he is "not going anywhere."  Also, Anderson did tell the Missouri State Senate that he would "bring a national championship to the state of Missouri", and after a statement like that, he better be ready to produce.

What will the future hold for the Missouri basketball team?  As much as it pains this writer to say it, we must wait until next year.

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