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Presbyterian (3-5) at (15) Missouri (7-1)



Saturday, December 11th, 5:00 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Pat Taggart, Associate College Basketball Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: Mizzou Arena (15,061) -- Columbia, Missouri. Television: MSN. Home Record: Presbyterian 0-0, Missouri 4-0. Away Record: Presbyterian 2-4, Missouri 1-0. Neutral Record: Presbyterian 1-1, Missouri 2-1. Conference Record: Presbyterian 1-1, Missouri 0-0. Series Record: First- ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: The 15th-ranked Missouri Tigers of the Big 12 Conference welcome Big South Conference foe Presbyterian to Columbia today.

Presbyterian has been idle since last Saturday when it defeated VMI by a 92-78 final to earn its first Big South Conference victory. That victory was the second in the last three outings for the Blue Hose, who are finally starting to play some decent basketball after a disappointing 1-4 start to the campaign. Presbyterian has yet to play a home game this season, but that will change on Wednesday when Jacksonville State comes to town.

As for Missouri, it managed to squeak by Vanderbilt on Wednesday by an 85-82 final to the delight of the home crowd. That victory was the second in a row for the Tigers since they suffered their lone defeat versus Georgetown in overtime. Missouri is 7-1 overall, which includes a 4-0 mark at home, and is considered one of the top teams in a loaded Big 12.

This contest marks the first-ever meeting between Presbyterian and Missouri on the hardwood.

Through eight outings, Presbyterian is scoring a modest 63.2 ppg while allowing 72.6 ppg to opponents. The Blue Hose are paced by three double-digit scorers, and Al'Lonzo Coleman is tops with 14.6 ppg. Much more than just a scorer, Coleman leads the team with 7.4 rpg and 11 steals while placing second with his 24 assists. On a down note, the forward has committed 34 turnovers, by far the highest total on the team. Khalid Mutakabbir is posting 12.5 ppg for Presbyterian on 59 percent shooting from the floor, and has knocked down a staggering 17-of-25 attempts from three-point range. Jake Troyli provides 10.8 ppg to round out a solid trio, and he finished with 16 points and eight rebounds in the win over VMI last time out. A preseason all-conference performer, Coleman accounted for a team-high 23 points and eight rebounds, while Mutakabbir dropped in a career-high 22 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor to go along with seven assists and five rebounds. That contest marked just the second time since the 2007-08 season that Presbyterian has had five players score in double figures in a single game.

Missouri's Marcus Denmon was the hero on Wednesday versus Vanderbilt, as his three-point play with just under six seconds remaining was the difference. Denmon finished that tilt with 21 points in 39 minutes of action, and Michael Dixon pitched in 15 points. Ricardo Ratliffe added 14 points and nine boards, while Kim English rounded out a foursome of double-digit scorers with 12 points. The Tigers connected on only 38.3 percent of their field goal attempts in that affair while surrendering 52.5 percent shooting to the Commodores. Fortunately for Missouri, it committed seven fewer turnovers than the opposition while earning advantages in both rebounding and points from the foul line. Denmon is pouring in 17 ppg this season on 51.1 percent shooting from the field, including his sensational 52.2 percent accuracy from three- point range. Ratliffe adds 12.6 ppg for the balanced Tigers, who are scoring 84.8 ppg thanks largely to the contributions of five double-digit scorers. Defensively, the club is surrendering 73.5 ppg.

The Tigers play at a fast pace at both ends of the court, and most opponents simply can't keep up. The Blue Hose will be overwhelmed to say the least.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Missouri 80, Presbyterian 54

12/11 10:37:26 ET