Denmon and English lead Mizzou past Red Raiders

English scores 22, Denmon 19 as Tigers improve to 19-2

Story by Kaveh Kaghazi
Photos by Ryan Williams 

Seniors Kim English and Marcus Denmon speak about the Tigers’ offensive plays. English and Denmon combined for 41 of Mizzou’s 63 total points Saturday.

Struggling to find the bottom of the net, No. 2 Missouri looked to senior leaders Kim English and Marcus Denmon.

Missouri shot just below 40 percent Saturday at Mizzou Arena, but found spurts of offense from English and Denmon en route to a 63-50 win against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Texas Tech (7-13, 0-8) came into the game intending to limit the Tigers inside scoring presence. After averaging 26 points in his last two games, senior forward Ricardo Ratliffe was held to eight points on six attempted shots.

“It was tough getting the ball inside to Ricardo, but I’m proud of our guys adjusting–not getting frustrated,” coach Frank Haith said.

While Texas Tech contained Ratliffe, they had trouble matching up with swingmen English and Denmon. English scored eight points in the game’s first two and a half minutes as the Tigers stormed to a 10-0 run to start the game.

“We have an offense with weapons so we just have to find where we can exploit teams, and we found that today,” English said.

The Tigers (19-2, 6-2) got little scoring production from the rest of the team in the first half. English finished with 19 of the Tiger’s 31 first-half points, as they took a seven-point lead into the half. Denmon’s shooting woes continued Saturday. After shooting 4-for-16 Wednesday, Jan. 25 in Stillwater, Denmon finished just 4-for-15 against Texas Tech. Denmon stayed aggressive though, hitting 10 free throws and finishing with 19 points, six rebounds and three steals.

“It’s a luxury to have a team with seven guys that can really get it done any given night,” English said.

The Tigers struggled to score, but it wasn’t due to a lack of good looks at the basket.

“We just didn’t make shots,” Haith said. “Does that make the game look ugly? I guess when they don’t go in, yeah.”

After falling behind early, Texas Tech continued to hurt themselves, turning the ball over 21 times in the game. The Tigers had 13 steals and forced the Red Raiders freshman leading scorer Jordan Tolbert into four fouls and eight turnovers. Four of the Tigers 13 steals came from the hands of Phil Pressey who also dished out 12 assists.

Pressey, English and Denmon helped the Tigers battle a pesky Red Raiders team that took away Ratliffe’s presence in the paint.

“When you have a team that can pass, catch, dribble and shoot like they do…you can beat anybody at any time,” Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie said.

The Tigers travel to Austin, Tex. Monday to face the Texas Longhorns. Missouri defeated Texas earlier this year, 84-73, at Mizzou Arena. The Longhorns dropped to 13-8 and 3-5 in Big 12 play with a 76-71 loss to Baylor Saturday Jan. 28.

The sellout crowd at Mizzou Arena Saturday cannot only be attributed to the basketball game. Fans had a chance to see heralded high school football recruit Dorial Green-Beckham at the game. Green-Beckham, on his weekend visit to the university, walked past the MU student section minutes before the game as fans chanted “MIZ-DGB”.

The wide receiver from Springfield, Mo. is widely regarded as the nation’s best football recruit. He will choose between Texas, Oklahoma, Alabama, Arkansas and Missouri on National Signing Day, Wednesday Feb. 1. Green-Beckham left the game late in the second half, but not before taking a picture with the Truman the Tiger and waving to the thousands of fans giving him a standing ovation as he walked out of the arena.


One response to “Denmon and English lead Mizzou past Red Raiders

  1. Pingback: KC SportsNation » MIZ-DGB: English scores 22 in leading Tigers past lowly Tech (highlights and links) » KC SportsNation

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