No. 13 Missouri routs Central Arkansas 116-63
Saturday, December 18, 2010
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Central Arkansas coach Corliss Williamson and Missouri coach Mike Anderson both learned the “Forty Minutes of Hell” from longtime Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson.
The No. 13 Tigers did the better impression on Saturday night.
Marcus Denmon scored 21 points and Laurence Bowers added 20 on 8-of-9 shooting to lead Missouri to a 116-63 victory.
“It brought back a lot of memories to see (Williamson) down the bench and a lot of emotion at the same time,” Anderson said. “I’m proud of him and I think he’s going to do a great job but I thought those kids were kind of rattled early on.”
Williamson played for Richardson at Arkansas while Anderson was an assistant coach there. The two won a national championship in 1994 and were runners-up in 1995.
Both have adopted Richardson’s trademark up-tempo style that emphasizes full-court defense. The Tigers forced 24 turnovers and held Central Arkansas to 31 percent shooting.
“It was one of the reasons I put this game on the schedule,” Williamson said. “We wanted to play a team that has mastered the style of play we are trying to emulate.”
The 116 points were the most scored in Mizzou Arena since its inception in 2004. The previous record of 107 had been achieved twice in the last two seasons.
Missouri, which shot 66 percent, opened the game with a 15-2 run and put up a season-high 54 points in the first half. The Tigers finished with seven players in double figures for the fourth time in school history and first since Dec. 2, 1995 against Chicago State.
“We shared the basketball tonight,” Anderson said. “The thing I like about it is when you talk about 33 assists on 45 field goals. That’s being pretty efficient.”
The Tigers were without starting point guard Michael Dixon, who was suspended indefinitely on Wednesday for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
After the game, Anderson said the sophomore would be allowed to practice for the first time on Sunday but did not specify whether Dixon would be available for the team’s game against No. 16 Illinois on Wednesday in St. Louis.
“He’s keeping his head in it and he’s one of our biggest cheerleaders right now,” Bowers said. “Mike’s doing great and he’ll be back with us soon.”
Phil Pressey started in place of Dixon for the second consecutive game and scored a career-high 15 points and tied a school record for assists by a freshman with 11.
If Pressey gets the start on Wednesday, his teammates say they have full confidence the youngster won’t be affected by the atmosphere of a big game.
“Phil’s been playing great and personally I think he can play even better,” Bowers said. “The guy has 27 assists over the last three games and I think he can do the same thing against Illinois.”
Mike Pouncey scored 11 points for the Bears (3-8), who were without starting guard Dewan Clayborn, who was sidelined because of an ankle injury.
“It just seemed like they were unconscious tonight,” said Williamson. “No matter what defense we ran they were knocking down shots and that makes it very difficult.”
The win pushes Missouri’s non-conference home win streak to 54, with all but seven of those coming under Anderson. The 10-1 start is the Tigers’ best in Anderson’s five seasons as coach.
Missouri also announced Saturday that reserve forward John Underwood, who saw limited playing time in his two years, was leaving the program due to undisclosed personal issues.
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