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Longhorns Hook Tigers

Posted By Nate Jacobson On Jan 30 2011 @ 2:57 pm In Missouri | No Comments

Two trips to the Lone Star State have resulted in a pair of losses for the Tigers. Two week after their loss at Texas A&M, the Tigers were outmuscled by Texas 71-58. The defeat leaves the Tigers 3-3 in the Big 12 and still searching for their first conference road win.

A slow start proved detrimental to the Tigers, who saw the Longhorns jump out to an 11-0 advantage. After that the Tigers fought back, but were not sufficient offensively. At one point in the second half the Tigers narrowed the Longhorns lead to seven, but the away team could never draw closer.

All season the Tigers have seen four to five players in double digit scoring. On Saturday Phil Pressey lead the team with 12 points off the bench. Kim English joined Pressey in double digits with 10 points.

The Longhorns were lead by strong performances from the trio of Jordan Hamilton, Gary Johnson and Cory Joseph. Hamilton had the most impressive night with 16 points and 13 rebounds. The Longhorns other big man, Tristan Thomson was held to nine points, but grabbed 13 rebounds of his own.

Rebounding was the story of the game, as the Longhorns held a 40-28 advantage in that category. Numerous offensive rebounds by the Longhorns early on propelled them to score the first 11 points in the game. The Longhorns ended up with 13 offensive rebounds.

The loss moves the Tigers to 17-4 overall, but they sit in middle of the Big 12 standings. The Tigers can improve their conference positioning and earn their first road victory on Wednesday night at Oklahoma State. This seems to be a winnable game as the Cowboys are 2-5 in the Big 12. Tipoff is at 8:00 p.m. at Gallagher-Iba Arena

Analysis: The Tigers can come up with a lot of excuses for Saturday night’s result. The most simple is that they were playing the No. 8 team in the country on the road. They can also point to the Longhorns recent road successes at Kansas and Oklahoma State, and that they are the only unbeaten in Big 12 play. Once the game got underway, starting forwards Justin Safford and Ricardo Ratliffe fell into foul trouble and reserve forward Laurence Bowers picked up a first half injury. The Longhorns were able to take advantage of the lack of bodies in the Tigers frontcourt. All of those reasons might make Tiger fans forget about this game in quick fashion. However, there were several numbers in the box score that are concerning. First, the Tigers were confined to a season-low 58 points. Missouri’s leading scorer and Big 12 Player of the Year contender Marcus Denmon only scored seven points. The part of the box score that sticks out the most is the Longhorns shot a dismal 16-for-34 from the free throw line. If the Longhorns shot their season average 65% on Saturday, then they would’ve won by 19 points. The trip to Austin was a nightmare, but the Tigers have a chance of Wednesday night to make Saturday just a bad dream.

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