No. 7 Missouri Rains Threes on Red Raiders

Saturday, March 3 –

With talent across the board, No. 7 Mizzou overwhelmed a feisty Texas Tech squad 81-59 Saturday in Lubbock. The victory is the Tigers’ 27th this year, which is the most regular season wins by any team in school history.

A couple minutes into the game, senior Kim English splashed a three from the corner. On the following possession, Matt Pressey sunk one of his own and the Tigers jumped out to an early six-point lead. The two threes were signs of things to come for a sharp-shooting Missouri team.

Despite the early deficit, Texas Tech hung around behind the smooth play of sophomore Jaye Crockett. His ability to hit the mid-range jumper forced Mizzou’s post players to defend outside the paint, which allowed the Raider guards to slice to the basket and get easy buckets. Missouri headed to the locker room with a 32-28 halftime lead.

The Tigers squashed any inclination of an upset with a dominant second half. At the 7:35 mark, Mizzou center Steve Moore corralled a loose ball and dished to Denmon from the seat of his pants. Denmon knocked down a three ball to give Mizzou a 64-48 advantage.

Five different players contributed to a season-high 16 threes for the Tigers. Texas Tech struggled to stop the onslaught created by Mizzou’s “pick your poison” approach.

The uncanny shooting allowed standout point guard Phil Pressey to simply feed the open man. With just under two minutes remaining, he assisted a waiting Denmon for another long ball. The next possession he drove again, but this time the Red Raiders closed the passing lane to Denmon. Pressey swung the ball to other side, where English caught it in stride and swished yet another three.

Missouri’s final Big 12 conference tournament begins Wednesday in Kansas City. The Tigers, who have the two seed, will receive a bye and play the winner of Oklahoma St. and Texas Tech Thursday, March 8. Frank Haith’s squad will look to carry over its success from beyond the arc as March Madness heats up.

– RJ Layton
23 Sports
Staff Writer