Tigers Bring Hope and a Win in the One State, One Spirit Classic

Sunday, October 30 –

On May 22, 2011, the city of Joplin, Missouri was devastated by a horrendous tornado that took 162 lives and completely destroyed the city.

Roughly five months later, Joplin hosted Missouri Southern State and the University of Missouri in an exhibition basketball game in the One State, One Spirit Classic at a jam-packed Leggett and Platt Athletic Complex.

The Tigers grabbed control of this game early, and never looked back, dominating by a score of 114-68.

It was evident early that MSSU would not be able to stick with the Tiger offense, which jumped out to a 10-0 run. Mizzou would go into halftime with a 47-23 lead, as Michael Dixon led the way with 12 points in the first half. Dixon would finish the game with 19.

The Tigers shot 50% from the field, and showed no signs of cooling down in the second half.

Senior Kim English would heat up from downtown after struggling in the first half, nailing three shots from long distance and finishing with 10 points. He would be one of six Tigers to score in double digits, as Michael Dixon (19), Ricardo Ratliffe (17), Matt Pressey (18), Phil Pressey (10) and preseason All-American Marcus Denmon (25) would add on to the tally.

Overall, Missouri shot an amazing 57.5 percent from the field, while hitting 54.2 percent from three-point range.

The game drew a sold-out crowd of 3,477, well over the 3,200-seat capacity of the venue. There were many tributes to the city before the game, including a moment of silence for all victims, which was also seen by those watching on ESPNU at home.

The game raised $100,000 for the embattled community, giving tremendous support to a town that has already shown amazing progress.

Missouri will come back to Mizzou Arena to host Truman State in their home opener on Wednesday, November 2nd in another exhibition game.

– Tyler Greever
23 Sports
Staff Writer