Missouri crushes Central Arkansas
Columbia, MO (Sports Network) - Marcus Denmon led seven Missouri players in double figures with 21 points, as the 13th-ranked Tigers blew out Central Arkansas, 116-63, for their fifth straight win.
Laurence Bowers added 20 points for the Tigers (10-1), who also received 18 points from Ricardo Ratliffe. Phil Pressey contributed 15 points and 11 assists, while Kim English had 14 points and 10 helpers. Justin Safford and Ricky Kreklow each scored 11 points for the Tigers, who shot 66.2 percent from the field.
Mike Pouncy had 11 points for Central Arkansas (3-8), which finished a lowly 31.8 percent from the floor.
English canned a three-pointer to culminate a 12-0 game-opening run by the Tigers. Mark Rutledge's bucket had the Bears within 19-12, but Missouri pulled away later in the half with an ensuing 23-2 burst. English capped the push with a fast break layup with 6:48 left in the half.
The Tigers carried a 54-19 cushion into the break and were up by as many as 55 in the second half.
"It was kind of a strange game, to look down the bench and there's Corliss, the Big Nasty, down there on the other end," Anderson said. "It brought back a lot of memories and was very emotional as well. I'm proud of him, and I think he's going to do a great job. I thought his kids were kind of rattled early on."
After the game, Bowers as asked if Saturday's result will be a boost to the Bears team walking into the Illinois game ranked in the top 10.
"I don't think all the rankings will play a part in this bragging rights game," he said. "We try not to let the rankings get in our head anyways. We try to stay humble like Coach said. We know we're going to be in for a big fight come the 22nd and we just have to bring it. We have to build off of this game and hopefully carry the momentum off of this game, but work on the mishaps we had tonight because Illinois will exploit them if we don't."
The game featured Corliss Williamson, head coach of the Bears, on the sidelines against Mizzou coach Mike Anderson. Williamson played for Anderson while he was an assistant under Nolan Richardson at Arkansas, winning one national championship...The Tigers set a Mizzou Arena record for points in a game...Missouri has won a school-record 54 straight home games against non- conference opponents...Missouri hit half of its 26 three-point shots.
12/18 23:24:27 ET