Bell, Ross Lead Mizzou Over Auburn

Sam Snow brings you all the action from Missouri men’s basketball’s showdown with the Auburn Tigers.

Saturday, Feb. 2-

The Missouri Tigers bounced back from a lackluster performance at LSU with a 91-77 victory over Auburn at Mizzou Arena. Much was made of junior transfer Earnest Ross’s first time facing off against his former team, and Ross delivered, posting a new personal Mizzou-high of 23 points.

However, Ross was not the only Mizzou transfer to make his presence felt. Keion Bell was active on both ends of the floor and led all scorers with 24 points. Bell also led Mizzou with three steals.

Missouri started slowly, and the score was only 7-7 going into the first media timeout. Then Ross went off. The Mizzou guard nailed three treys and converted a layup in a span of nearly six minutes.

Auburn played a little too carelessly, and the Missouri defense took advantage. Bell’s quick hands led to a pair of steals and breakaway slams that energized the home crowd.

Missouri took a 45-35 lead into the locker room at halftime, but the visitors from Auburn could not manage to stop the Tigers’ momentum.

After Missouri saw its lead at only eight early in the second half, five different players made buckets, opening up a 62-42 advantage.

Junior college transfer Tony Criswell briefly came out of the game after appearing to re-aggravate his injured wrist, but eventually subbed back in.

Although senior Alex Oriakhi had a relatively quiet night of 11 points and six boards, the transfer from UConn did reach a personal milestone of 1,000 points for his career.

Junior point guard Phil Pressey did not reach double figures in points, but managed to dish out 10 assists in his 28 minutes of playing time.

Missouri improves to 16-5 overall, 5-3 in conference, and will look to grab that elusive first road victory when they travel to College Station to face Texas A&M. The game tips at 8 p.m. Thursday.

-Gregory Dailey
23 Sports
Staff Writer