Posted: Feb 12, 2012 8:24 PM by Mihir Bhagat
Updated: Feb 12, 2012 11:17 PM
COLUMBIA - The Missouri men's basketball team is undefeated at home against Baylor since 1948 and continued the streak Saturday with a 72-57 victory, primarily due to a season-best 14 three-pointers.
Missouri dominated the matchup earlier this season in Waco. This time, they did damage from beyond the arc.
"That's the great thing about this team," Coach Frank Haith said. "We've got a lot of different ways we can affect the game."
After being beat down low in a zone defense, Baylor coach Scott Drew switched to a man defense. In the process, they picked their poison by leaving the perimeter open.
"When you're playing Missouri, you're going to give up something," Coach Drew said. "So we decided we're going to give up the three."
In hindsight, it clearly wasn't a wise decision.
Phil Pressey made four three-pointers, Michael Dixon drained four off the bench, and Marcus Denmon finished with another four including a shot in the 2nd half that ranks the senior guard 10th all-time in scoring, passing Jon Sundvold.
"Marcus feels it, and he's got his feet underneath him. There's no doubt, that's a good shot for us."
Dixon explained how Denmon's hot hand helped his teammates.
"Once Marcus [Denmon] started hitting threes, it opened me and Phil's shots," Dixon said. "Coach Haith told us to step into it, take the shot, and make it. That's what they were giving us, and we're making it today."
Midway through the 2nd half, the Tigers hit six three-pointers during a 20-6 run. It broke a one-point ball game.
"You can feel the momentum and there were a couple times where I just told him, let it rip," Coach Haith said."
So despite having a disadvantage in size, being outrebounded, and allowing 21 2nd chance points, shooting 50% on three pointers gave Missouri their third victory against a Top 10 opponent in the past four weeks, which is more than the Tigers have had in the past seven years combined.
The team will need to continue their sharp shooting as they seek redemption against Oklahoma State on Wednesday.