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Missouri basketball to play at Xavier

by Brandon Foster | November 17, 2015 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated May 16, 2016 at 10:23 p.m.
Led by Terrence Phillips (1), the Missouri bench celebrates as players rush the court as a timeout is called during the second half of Sunday's 73-55 victory against Maryland Eastern Shore at Mizzou Arena. Missouri returns to action today as it takes on Xavier in Cincinnati.

COLUMBIA - The Missouri basketball team plays its third game in five days and its first road game of the season today at Xavier (5:30 p.m., FS1), a team that reached the Sweet 16 last season.

Freshman Terrence Phillips isn't worried.

"I really think we can really go in there and kind of steal one," he said. "I think if we can go and get that, we can really open some eyes here."

Hoping to avoid distributing bulletin-board material, coach Kim Anderson asked, "Can we amend that statement to "We hope we can go steal one'?"

"Terrence wasn't here last year," Anderson said. "I was here."

Last year, meaning Xavier's 74-58 defeat of Missouri at Mizzou Arena - a loss junior Wes Clark characterized as "a little bit of a spanking."

Coming off wins against Wofford and Maryland Eastern Shore at home, the Tigers hope to avoid that same fate today.

"When you think Xavier, you think of a really good basketball program," Anderson said, "and they've been very consistent over the years, and it'll be a good test for our guys."

Also a test, playing a third game since the season started Friday.

Freshman Kevin Puryear, the team's leading scorer through two games, said he never played a stretch like that at Blue Springs South High School. He feels he is holding up physically.

"A little sore, but I'm good," he said. "... I actually expected it to be a little bit worse than what it is. I'm actually feeling pretty good right now."


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