22 December 2011

Braggin Rights

Tigers close out close game
by Mizzou Matt
ST. LOUIS, MO- The University of Missouri Tigers traveled to St. Louis for the 39th annual Braggin' Rights game against the Illinois Fighting Illini. Mizzou entered the game riding a two-game win streak in the series going into the ScottTrade Center, and with their hot 11-0 start, they looked to make it three straight.

The Tigers struggled early, allowing Illinois to get up to a 7-2 lead. After a 7-0 run by Mizzou put the Tigers on top, and they would carry a lead throughout most of the game. The Tigers carried a 41-30 point advantage at the 20:00 break. That eleven-point lead would grow, shrink, grow, shrink, grow again, then ultimately vanish as the second half wore on.

Accompanied with questionable shot selection by the Tigers and outstanding offensive production, the Illini wiped a 14-pt deficit off the books and took a lead late in the game. Thanks to a strong finish by Mizzou, capped off by a Flip Pressey layup and two Michael Dixon free throws, the Tigers closed out a close victory to earn their third straight Braggin' Rights title, and their 12th win of the season. The final in St. Louis: 78-74. The win marks the first time since the 1981-82 season that the Tigers have started with a 12-0 record.

Michael Dixon, coming off a career-high 30-pt performance against William & Mary, netted 18 along with Phil "Flip" Pressey to lead the Tiger scoring. Flip's older brother, Matt Pressey contributed 10 points, and a highlight reel dunk at the end of the first half. Ricardo Ratliffe added 14 and became the fourth Tiger in double-digit scoring. Marcus Denmon and Kim English both finished with 8 points a piece, and Steve Moore with 2. Kadeem Green, Jarrett Sutton, Andy Rosburg and Andrew Jones were not used in tonight's game.

The Tigers take on the Old Dominion Monarchs on December 30th with 6pm/CT tipoff time before returning home to open conference play against the Oklahoma Sooners on January 3rd. The game against the Sooners has a 7pm/CT start time.

Box score from tonight's Illinois game:
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On the women's side, the Tigers continue their own hot start as they move to 9-1 following a 58-48 win over Memphis. Christine Flores surpassed the 1,000 point mark in today's game.

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