Tigers Bounce OSU From Big 12 Tourney

Frank Haith's Missouri Tigers approached Thursday night's game with the right strategy — run. The Cowboys were already moderately fatigued from a game played less than 24 hours earlier; add in OSU's limited available roster and the strategy was sound. And it was executed, as should be expected from one of the nation's elite teams.

The Tigers pounced on the Cowboys early to the tune of 23-6 en route to a methodical 88-70 victory over the Cowboys, knocking the Pokes out in the second round of the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City.

OSU played fairly well in stretches but, for the vast majority of the game, Mizzou had its way with the Cowboy in front of a Tiger-heavy crowd in the Sprint Center.

The Tigers (28-4) are already a bona fide Final Four contender and had a sizable advantage before the ball was tipped but the performances turned in by guards Marcus Denmon and Kim English paced the team to a ridiculous 59.3 percent shooting — 66.7 in the second half — from the floor. English led all scorers with 27 and did it on 11-of-13 shooting. At halftime OSU had 24 points, English has 21. Denmon did his fair share of damage, too, dropping 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting with eight rebounds.

Finding them all night was point guard Phil Pressey, who finished with 12 assists against just three turnovers.

The Cowboys didn't have an answer for the offensive onslaught administered by Missouri but didn't give up without a fight.

After trailing by 29 late in the first, OSU outscored Mizzou by 11 the rest of the way. In likely his final collegiate game, Keiton Page led the Pokes with 22 points, including a 6-of-12 showing from the 3-point line. Page was subbed out with less than a minute remaining in regulation and received a sizable ovation from the mixed crowd as he received hugs from all of his teammates and coaches.

Despite being swarmed by defenders all night, Page still found a way to lead the Cowboys. It was really a fitting end to his illustrious career.

Brian Williams turned in another stout performance, as well. The redshirt freshman scored 22 on 8-of-10 shooting and hauled in a team-best eight rebounds.

Markel Brown was the only other Cowboy to score double digits with 12. He also grabbed five bounds and dished out a team-high six assists.

Baring a potential CBI postseason bid for the Cowboys, this was likely it for a team that was riddled by injuries, defections and youth on its way to a 15-18 record.

A disappointing season by any definition but the building blocks for the future are in place, highlighted by injured co-Big 12 freshman of the year Le'Bryan Nah's announcement on Wednesday night that he is officially returning for his sophomore year.

Second-seeded Missouri advanced to play the winner of Thursday night's late game between Texas and Iowa State.