by Mizzou Matt
COLUMBIA, MO- The University of Missouri came into tonight's game looking to do something they haven't done in 20 years: go 10-0. They would do just that with a 37-point victory over the Kennesaw State Owls. Frank Haith's squad has won every game thus far by double digit margins, and their 26.7 point average win margin is the most in school history over the first ten games. The 1991-92 squad went 10-0 to start the season, averaging a 26.1 average margin of victory.
Despite coming out flat on both sides of the ball, with sloppy passing and questionable shots that helped keep the Owls (2-6) close at halftime, only trailing by 14, the Tigers used a strong second half to put the game out of reach. Matt Pressey was fouled hard with about 5:00 to play in the first half, but managed to overcome that and finished just shy of his career-high 18 points.
"We were playing too cool in the first half, and cool gets you beat," said Haith, "We were playing like a Cadillac. We were just going through the motions."
The first half was capped off by a Matt Pressey rebound for points as time expired.
"We gambled a lot in the first half," said assistant coach Issac Chew. "It was kind of lethargic, but we picked it up as the game went on."
Ricardo Ratliffe and Michael Dixon both led the Tigers offensively with 18 points each. Ratliffe led Mizzou defensively with seven rebounds. Marcus Denmon finished with 17 points, four steals and six rebounds. Matt Pressey and Kim English also finished with double digits, with 15 and 13 points, respectively. Phil "Flip" Pressey finished with nine points, but his 10 assists gives him 44 assists in the last five games. Kadeem Green finished with eight points and six rebounds, while Steve Moore contributed four points and two rebounds of his own. Andy Rosburg came in late off the bench and scored a bucket and grabbed a rebound to finish with two points of his own. Mizzou football tight end Andrew Jones, who played in his first basketball game against Navy, earned himself three minutes of playing time along with Jarrett Sutton.
Mizzou (10-0) used their down-low play to beat the Owls, scoring 62 points in the paint, while going 20/25 from the free-throw line. The Tigers also grabbed 14 steals as a team.
Attendance: 8,015- not bad considering today was the last day of finals and students were leaving campus to spend time with family. The Tigers, one of only nine remaining unbeaten teams, are back in action on Sunday as they host The Tribe of William & Mary.