Bowers leads Missouri over Oral Roberts
Thursday, December 16, 2010
On Monday afternoon before practice, Missouri coach Mike Anderson showed his team the video of its last-second defeat at Oral Roberts last season after which the fans rushed the court.
The Tigers had revenge on their minds Thursday night.
Laurence Bowers scored 17 points and No. 13 Missouri avenged last season’s defeat with an 81-62 victory. Marcus Denmon added 16 for the Tigers (9-1), who held the Golden Eagles to 26 percent shooting from the field.
“There’s some games that you know are a revenge game,” Bowers said. “Oral Roberts is one of those games. We had the game last year, and they took it from us.”
The Tigers were without starting point guard Michael Dixon who was suspended indefinitely Wednesday for violating an undisclosed team rule. The sophomore was on the bench in street clothes for the game.
Anderson would not give any further details regarding the situation and did not set a timetable for Dixon’s return after the game. Dixon is averaging 10.7 points and leads the team in assists with 4.3 per game.
“We have high standards for how we expect our young men to carry themselves,” Anderson said. “Michael didn’t meet those standards, therefore he is suspended indefinitely.”
In Dixon’s absence, highly touted freshman Phil Pressey scored eight points in his first career start.
Pressey had seven assists, pushing his total to 16 in the last two games when he has seen his playing time increase. He said there was minimal adjustment being on the court at the beginning of the game as opposed to coming off the bench.
“In practice I’m the starting point guard for my team so it’s just about brining practice to the game,” Pressey said. “Everyone on this team is just as important as the other guys so we’re just looking at the next game trying to get better.”
Oral Roberts held a three-point lead with seven minutes to play in the first half when the Tigers went on an 18-2 run over a five-minute span to pull away. Kim English hit consecutive 3-pointers to spur the Tigers to a 37-24 halftime lead.
The Golden Eagles responded with a 10-0 run early in the second half to pull within seven, the closest they came the rest of the game. They finished with 19 turnovers.
“When your guards shoot 1-for-21, you aren’t going to win games, especially against ranked opponents,” Oral Roberts coach Scott Sutton said. “I thought we missed a lot of shots tonight but I think the way they want to speed you up probably had a lot to do with us missing.”
Bowers entered the game struggling a bit averaging just 8.3 points over his last four games. His teammates know how valuable a prominent Bowers can be on both ends of the court.
“He’s one of the key components of our team,” Denmon said. “I feel as he goes, as well as everyone else getting better, our team goes.”
On Dec. 9, 2009, Michael Craion, a native of Kansas City, took a pass from teammate Dominique Morrison and laid in the ball with .9 seconds to play handing the Tigers a 60-59 loss. Craion did not play Thursday as he is suffering from a fractured right foot.
Morrison led the Golden Eagles (4-6) with 18 points and Damen Bell-Holter finished with 12 and a career-high 17 rebounds.
The win pushes Missouri’s non-conference home streak to 53 straight with all but seven of those victories coming under Anderson.