Mizzou Tops Texas Tech

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KANSAS CITY - Missouri beat Texas Tech 88-84 in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament. This victory is the first step on what the team hopes is a conference tournament title.

Mizzou led Texas Tech by 13 points with about five minutes left, but Tiger turnovers gave the Red Raiders a chance to get back in the game.

"We tried to play spoiler. Me, Mike... couple times, but we won."

"We're in position to finish the game... we just didn't finish it right," said Junior Guard Kim English.

Mizzou finished the game on the wrong side of a 15-6 run.

Marcus Denmon said, "We believe in ourselves whether fans or people watching the game don't."

Just like the game ended a losing skid...Kimmie English stopped his own shooting slump with 15 points.

"I've never been one to say my confidence was down... but it was. It just felt good to see the ball go through the net," English said.

The Sprint Center seemed to bring out the best in Mizzou's Kansas City kids. Marcus Denmon led the Tigers with 20, and Michael Dixon dropped in 17.

Missouri senior guard Michael Dixon said, "It's awesome. Playing in front of family and friends kind of puts me at ease even more so than playing at Mizzou Arena so the Sprint Center awesome. We want to be here until Saturday. "

Saturday is the Championship, but before that Missouri faces another nemesis of Coach Anderson, Texas A&M in the quarterfinals Thursday night at 8:30.

"You say always you go into someone else's place and steal one. I thought they stole one from us and they did with a steal from Middleton at the end," Anderson said, remembering the Tigers loss at College Station in overtime this season.

Phil Pressey said, "We've been biting our teeth for this. We can't wait. We lost a close one at their place and we've been waiting for the opportunity to play them again."

His teammate Ricardo Ratliffe also said, "That's probably the best game that we played on the road I feel. That's a team that we owe so we're just going to try to get them back."