03 March 2012

Game 31: Mizzou @ Texas Tech

Season finale on the road
by Mizzou Matt
LUBBOCK, TX- The University of Missouri basketball team has already accomplished a lot this season. They've matched their 2nd-best start in program history at 17-1. They've made it to the top-2 in the country. They've won more conference games than any other team in program history, and with a win today, they will have more regular season wins than any other team in program history.

That's right. #7/8 Mizzou (26-4, 13-4) is just one win away from setting a new school record for wins in a regular season with 27.

Texas Tech kept the game close in the first half, keeping the deficit to four 32-28 at the break. A strong start to the second half by the Tigers catapulted them to an 18-pt, 58-40 with about 12:00 to play, their largest lead of the game. The Raiders kept Mizzou's leading scorer Marcus Denmon scoreless longer than any other team this year. For the entire first half, Marcus Denmon went 0/4 and no points. The Tigers were carried by Matt Pressey and Kim English in the first half, but in the second half, Denmon exploded on offense, scoring all 17 of his points in the final 20 minutes. By the time the game finished, Mizzou (15-pt favorites) would lead by as much as 22. Final score in Lubbock: 81-59. Mizzou improves to a school-record 27-4, 14-4 on the season, and will face the winner of Wednesday's Big 12 Championship 1st round game between Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.

Final stats: English finishes with 20, Denmon exploded for 17 in the 2nd half, M. Pressey finished with 14, Ratliffe and Dixon with 13 each. Flip and Moore had 3 and 1 point, respectively. Tigers set a season-high on 3s, going 16/27 (.593) and shot 27/53 (.509) from the floor.

At one point in the game, Ricardo Ratliffe had as many rebounds by himself as the Red Raiders had as a team. Ratliffe recorded a double-double on the night.

The Tigers carry a distinct advantage over Texas Tech that the Raiders will carry over another team in the next four years- experience. Mizzou has 135 minutes played by their leading seniors of Denmon, English, Pressey, Ratliffe, and Steve Moore. By contrast, Texas Tech has 165 minutes by freshmen.

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