Men’s Basketball Defeats Another Top 10 Team

Sam Hustis and Eric Hilt cover the No. 4 Mizzou men’s basketball team in their game against the No. 6 Baylor Bears.

Saturday, Feb. 11 –

For the second time in a week, the Missouri Tigers faced off against a Top 10 opponent at home in the Baylor Bears, but in a less dramatic showing then last week’s classic Border War, the Tigers downed the Bears 72-57.

Three weeks ago, the Tigers were ranked 5th and edged out a win against the No. 3 Bears at Baylor. It was the game where Missouri proved on a national stage that they were a contender as they downed the undefeated Bears, despite Baylor’s overwhelming size. Ricardo Ratliffe provided a herculean effort on the national stage with his biggest game of the year that day.

Fast forward three weeks and things look awfully different. Missouri is a week removed from one of the biggest games in team history when they defeated the Kansas Jayhawks, who choked away an eight point lead. Baylor was three days removed from a home loss against Kansas, a tightly contested game that Kansas blew open in the second quarter.

Baylor should have walked into the game angry and gunning for the Big 12 leading Tigers. They should have abused the small, jump shooting team on the inside. Yet, in the ultimate trap game, Missouri opened the floodgates.

Reminiscent of the Kansas-Missouri and Kansas-Baylor games, this game was a close one at half. The Tigers were carried in the first half by Ratliffe, who had his only six points of the game, and Flip Pressey, who showed off a rarely seen three pointer. Pressey was 4-7 from three on his way to 19 points.

The first five minutes of the second half featured little scoring, as both teams looked lost. Missouri couldn’t punch inside against Baylor, and Missouri’s pesky defense kept Baylor’s big men from getting easy looks inside. Then, a Michael Dixon three and a thunderous dunk by Steve Moore kicked off a 17-3 run by Missouri and the Tigers never looked back.

Carried by Pressey, a sophomore, and Dixon, a junior, the seniors for the Tigers won their 100th game together. The current iteration of the team won its 23rd game of the year and remained undefeated at home.