Columbia, MO – The 10th-ranked Missouri Tigers are off to a conference matchup with the William & Mary Tribe.
A member of the Colonial Athletic Association, the Tribe is just 2-8 overall this season and 1-8 in league play. On Thursday, William & Mary did manage to halt a three-game slide with a 70-47 victory over Wesley College, but today's clash obviously presents a monumental leap in competition.
Missouri has yet to lose under the guidance of first-year head coach Frank Haith, whose 10-0 Tigers are one of just nine unbeaten teams nationally. Perhaps most impressive about the start is that all 10 wins have come by double figures. Missouri is coming off a 104-67 romp over Kennesaw State and is 7-0 at home.
This game marks the first-ever meeting between Missouri and William & Mary on the hardwood.
Generating offense has proven to be extremely difficult for William & Mary thus far, as the team is averaging a modest 57.8 ppg on 38.2 percent shooting from the field, including 29.7 percent from three-point range. The Tribe is surrendering 70.3 ppg to opponents and has committed 58 more turnovers than its foes thus far. Quinn McDowell leads the club in scoring, but his 10.6 ppg won't scare anyone. As for Marcus Thornton (10.2 ppg), he is the only other double-digit scorer on the roster. Brandon Britt was quite impressive for the Tribe in the most recent outing against Wesley College, as he posted 20 points on the strength of a 7-of-11 shooting effort. Thornton hit 4-of-6 shots en route to 14 points, and the team cruised to victory despite 39.3 percent overall field goal efficiency. William & Mary played stellar defense and earned a 16-6 edge in points from the foul line.
Marcus Denmon of Missouri is scoring 20.9 ppg on 55 percent shooting from the field, including 49.2 percent from three-point range. He gets plenty of help from three other double-digit scorers, including Kim English (15.9 ppg), a 52.5 percent three-point shooter. Ricardo Ratliffe is shooting a staggering 76.5 percent from the floor, and he provides 14.6 ppg and 7.2 rpg. Michael Dixon rounds out the double-digit scorers with 10.9 ppg for the Tigers, who have utilized the same starting lineup in every game to date. Missouri is generating 87.3 ppg on 51.9 percent field goal efficiency while limiting foes to 60.6 ppg on 40.1 percent shooting. In the romp over Kennesaw State, five Tigers reached double figures in scoring, and the squad got 18-point efforts from both Ratliffe and Dixon. Missouri shot 60 percent from the field in that tilt and hit 20-of-25 free throws.