Kansas City, MO – A pair of unbeatens will put unblemished records on the line this evening in Kansas City, as Missouri meets Notre Dame in the CBE Classic semifinals.
Missouri stayed unbeaten last week with win over Mercer and Niagra in the CBE Regional Rounds. The Tigers posted five players in double-figures against Niagra, led by Marcus Denmon's 22 points. Following the CBE Classic, Missouri will return home next Sunday to host Binghamton.
Notre Dame has opened the season with four consecutive wins at home, including a 93-69 win over Delaware State on Friday. Notre Dame, who has won 23 straight games at home, were paced by Scott Martin's 23 points in the win over the Hornets. Star forward Tim Abromaitis will make his first appearance of the season for Notre Dame against Missouri, after being suspended by the NCAA for the first four games of the season for a rules violation. Abromaitis averaged 15.4 ppg and 6.1 rpg a year ago.
Missouri leads the all-time series with Notre Dame, 6-2.
Missouri's Denmon hit 7-of-13 from the field against Niagra, including 5-of-8 from three-point range to earn his 22-point outing. Denmon also registered seven rebounds, and Missouri edged Niagra 39-34 on the boards. Kim English went 4-of-7 from the field and scored 14 points to complement seven rebounds, and Ricardo Ratliffe, Matt Pressey and Michael Dixon all scored 12 points in the win. Missouri was disruptive on the defensive end, forcing Niagra to shoot just 34.5 percent from the field and created 16 turnovers while posting 13 steals. Five players are averaging double figure scoring for Missouri so far this season, with Denmon leading the way with 18.0 ppg. He's also averaging a team-high 6.7 rpg.
Martin led Notre Dame against Delaware State, scoring his team-high 23 points on 8-of-18 shooting (4-of-9 from three-point range), while Alex Dragicevich hit three three-pointers en route to 18 points, while Jerian Grant added 17 points and six assists. Perhaps the most impressive line of the game came from Jack Cooley, who recorded 17 rebounds - including 10 offensive boards - and scored 11 points in the win. Grant is averaging 14.0 ppg and 5.0 rpg, while Martin is putting up 13.0 ppg. Notre Dame is averaging 76.5 per outing, and shooting 46.9 percent from the field on the year.