Missouri shellacks Oklahoma State 88-70

8 Mar

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Everyone who wants to see No. 3 Kansas and No. 5 Missouri match up one last time in the Big 12 tournament just got a bit closer to having their wish realized.

The Tigers absolutely pummeled Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals at Sprint Center. Seniors Kim English and Marcus Denmon combined for 51 points as Missouri cruised to an 88-70 victory on Thursday night.

Just five minutes into the game, Missouri’s band played a brass rendition of the popular song “All I Do Is Win.” The Tigers had good reason to be confident. English’s first basket of the game began a 24-3 run that put Missouri ahead 30-9 with 9:13 to play in the first half.

English gave the Tigers their double-digit lead with an old-fashioned three-point play to make it 16-6 five minutes into the game, and Matt Pressey’s basket pushed the advantage to 21 points.

Keiton Page hit his third shot of the game to bring Oklahoma State within 30-11, but the Cowboys could not stop English. He scored 9 of his team’s next 11 points to increase the Tigers’ lead to 41-15.

At halftime Missouri led 49-24. In the first 20 minutes, the Tigers outrebounded the Cowboys 23-10 and turned the ball over just three times. They scored 18 points off Oklahoma State’s 8 turnovers and totaled 15 fast break points.

The second half felt like a formality.

Page, C.J. Guerrero and Brian Williams made shots to bring the Cowboys within 61-39, but then Denmon found a rhythm. He converted on the and-one, made the more modern 3-point play and proceeded to hit again from beyond the arc.

After scoring nine straight for Missouri, Denmon dunked next time he got the ball and further continued his streak with a dramatic drive that resulted in a contested layup. Midway through the second half, Missouri led 74-45.

The Cowboys kept fighting. Page hit consecutive 3-pointers to trim the deficit to 23 points. Williams turned an offensive rebound into a highlight-reel dunk. Page hit another 3-pointer. Marek Soucek and Guerrero each made shots, and then Soucek made another.

Suddenly, Oklahoma State trailed just 77-62 with 6:11 to play. Not an easy gap to erase, for sure, but much smaller than it had been. The Cowboys were on a 17-3 run.

The Tigers proved too much for the Cowboys to handle, however, and had enough of a cushion to put their subs in for several minutes at the end of the game.



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