No. 5 Missouri downs Texas, advances to title game
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Kim English and Phil Pressey combined for eight three-pointers and they each scored 23 points to lead No. 5 Missouri to an 81-67 victory over sixth-seeded Texas in a Big 12 Tournament semifinal on Friday.
"I just took what the defense gave me," said Pressey, who finished 5-of-7 from three-point range. "My teammates are confident in my shot."
Ricardo Ratliffe recorded a double-double with 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Tigers (29-4), while Michael Dixon added 10 points off the bench to set up a rematch of the 2009 Big 12 title game on Saturday, as Missouri will face Baylor, which knocked off top-seeded Kansas 81-72 in Friday's other semifinal.
The 2009 title game marked Missouri's only Big 12 championship as it defeated the Bears 73-60 to claim the crown.
J'Covan Brown paced Texas (20-13) with 21 points to go with eight rebounds. Jonathan Holmes and Sheldon McClellan netted 11 and 10 points, respectively, as the Longhorns likely did enough in the Big 12 tourney to gain an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament.
"We've improved and we've gotten better," said Texas head coach Rick Barnes. "I think on any given night we can still beat anybody."
Early in the second half, Brown pulled his team within four on a tough left- handed layup, but he went down hard on the right side of his neck and was in obvious pain while he received medical attention on the baseline.
With Brown on the bench, English buried a triple to spark a 9-0 surge that pressed the lead to 54-41 with 13:12 remaining.
Brown quickly returned from the injury as his triple stalled the Missouri run with 13:02 to play.
It was then Missouri's turn for an injury scare, as English took a knee to the thigh with just under 12 minutes left and the Tiger's leading scorer went back to the tunnel to try and walk the injury off.
English returned to a standing ovation from the Missouri faithful with 9:11 left in the game and Pressey sank a trey less than a minute later to give Missouri a 67-53 edge.
Clint Chapman pulled Texas within 10 on a layup, but Dixon connected on back- to-back triples to press the lead to 73-57 with just over six minutes left as the Tigers cruised the rest of the way for the victory.
The Missouri lead reached as high as 13 in the first half when Pressey buried a three-pointer with just over three minutes left, but Texas scored the final six points of the half to enter the locker room facing a 39-32 deficit.
Missouri will look the claim the Big 12 tourney crown in its last season in the conference as the Tigers will join the SEC next season...Texas outrebounded Missouri 20-9 on the offensive glass...Missouri shot 45.5 percent (10-of-22) from three-point range, while Texas was 38.5 percent (5-of-13) from beyond the arc.
03/10 01:48:11 ET