Mizzou’s red-hot shooting helps beat Oklahoma State, 83-65

Tigers win sixth straight conference game; stay atop Big 12 standings

Story by Ryan Williams
Photos by Kaveh Kaghazi

Ricardo Ratliffe and Kim English celebrate Missouri's 83-65 win against Oklahoma State on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. Ratliffe's 15 points and 12 rebounds helped MU's senior class achieve a record 101 career wins.

For the No. 3 Missouri Tigers, it wasn’t revenge that took place Wednesday night at Mizzou Arena. It was business as usual.

“(We) definitely remembered how we played Stillwater,” senior forward Kim English said. “We learned from that loss.”

The last time the Tigers and the Cowboys met, Oklahoma State pulled away down the stretch behind Le’Bryan Nash’s 27 points in a 79-72 upset victory in Stillwater, Okla.  This time Missouri took care of business, winning handily at home, 83-65 behind an offensive explosion and strong defense.

“We knew coming into this game that Missouri was going to respond,” Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said. “When Missouri plays like this, and shoots how they did tonight, they can play with anybody in the country.”

Missouri’s offense shined in the first half behind sixth man Michael Dixon. Dixon finished the game with 15 points on 7 for 11 shooting, including a perfect 6 for 6 from the field during the Tigers 35-12 run to end the first half.

“I will say (Dixon’s) playing at a high, high level right now,” Missouri coach Frank Haith said. “And we sense it, and he senses it…when he gets in the game he’s playing with a high-level of confidence.”

Dixon is shooting 66 percent (31-for-47) from the field in his last five games. But Dixon wasn’t the only player in black and gold that brought his A-game Wednesday night. Five Tigers scored in double figures. Ricardo Ratliffe recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Phil Pressey nearly reached a triple-double with 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

“Every other player can score,” Ford said. “They’re just talented and Frank’s done a great job of putting his players in the right place, done a great job of distributing the points and that’s not an easy thing to do.”

English and Marcus Denmon made an impact once the second half started. After starting a combined 3 for 6 from the field and a total of nine points, the seniors finished the game a combined 12 for 23 for 30 points.

“It’s fun when you really don’t care who gets that basket,” English said. “When it’s just your college buddies and you’re out there playing basketball it’s fun.”

Oklahoma State held a 10-9 lead with 14:37 left in the first half, but failed to regain the lead again. Missouri’s largest lead of the game was 35 points with 6:59 remaining in the game. The Cowboys were able to get some offense going in the second half behind lone senior Keiton Page who had a game-high 23 points and five 3-pointers.

Cowboys’ star freshman forward Nash, however, only had 11 total points on the night—not even half of what he had the last time these two teams met on the hardwood. English said that he studied film of Nash all week and read the Oklahoma State offensive sets early to try and force Nash out from around the basket.

“I didn’t want (Nash) to get going early because with young prolific scorers if they make some shots early, their jump shots start falling…and that’s what happened in Stillwater,” English said.

Haith was quick to point out that English’s defense might be getting overlooked and he’s made sacrifices to shut down the other teams’ star forwards.

“I don’t know if we really give him credit for what he’s done all year defensively,” Haith said. “He’s guarding guys six to seven inches taller than him and battling them every single night.”

Wednesday’s victory over Oklahoma State gave seniors Kim English, Marcus Denmon, and Steve Moore 101 wins for their collegiate careers, making them the lone leaders in Mizzou history.

“This is just a product of the bigger process,” English said. “The accolade is nice, but we just looked at it as another game on the schedule. We just want to win.”

The Tigers are back in action against Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, Saturday, Feb. 18. at 1 p.m.

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One response to “Mizzou’s red-hot shooting helps beat Oklahoma State, 83-65

  1. Pingback: KC SportsNation » Seniors set record as Mizzou strikes revenge, destroys Oklahoma State (highlights, links) » KC SportsNation

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