It may have not been pretty, but a win is a win.
The Missouri Tigers defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders in the first round of the Big 12 tournament 88-84 on Wednesday night in Kansas City. The victory snaps the Tigers three game winless streak as they attempt to gain some form of momentum before the NCAA tournament.
Both teams started the contest out on fire offensively, which made it feel like the high scoring 92-84 Missouri win earlier this season against Texas Tech. The Red Raiders were the better side and showed more urgency during the early part in the first half. They built a seven point lead, which was quickly erased by the Tigers. Justin Safford keyed a late run by the Tigers, in which the senior forward netted eight points in less than four minutes.
The Tigers carried a 48-44 lead into the second half, and it appeared that they might pull away. Back-to-back three-pointers from Marcus Denmon and Kim English stretched the Tigers lead to 12. The lead was extended to 13 before the Red Raiders went an 18-5 run to even the score at 63 with 11:54 left. The Tigers took a timeout and on the ensuing possession Michael Dixon hit a three to give the Tigers the lead for good. They built another 13 point lead, but again the Red Raiders mounted a comeback that was aided by several Missouri turnovers. In the end the Tigers hung on and have advanced to the quarterfinals.
The Tigers were paced by starting guards Denmon, Dixon and English. The three scored 20, 17 and 15 points respectively.
The Red Raiders were lead by John Roberson, who led all scorers with 28 points. The loss by the Red Raiders was the last game of the Pat Knight era in Lubbock. The team announced that the head coach of three seasons would be fired after the Big 12 tournament earlier this week.
The Tigers now play Texas A&M on Thursday night at 8:30. The two teams meet on January 15 in College Station, and the Aggies prevailed 91-89 in overtime. The Tigers had no answer for Aggies forward Khris Middleton, who tallied a season high 28 points. Middleton leads the Aggies in scoring this season with 14.4 points per game. The winner of this game will play the winner of the quarterfinal between Texas and Oklahoma in the semifinals.
About the Author
Written by Nate Jacobson
I was born and raised in the city of Chicago. Now I am a freshmen at the University of Missouri. I am a huge sports fan, and enjoy writing and voicing my opinion about sports. I hope you enjoy my blog about the team that plays The Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball.