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NCAA Game Summary - Western Illinois at Missouri
(Thursday, November 18th)
Final Score: (15) Missouri 66, Western Illinois 61
Columbia, MO (Sports Network) - Laurence Bowers finished with nine points and 10 rebounds and Marcus Denmon added nine points as the 15th-ranked Missouri Tigers edged the Western Illinois Leathernecks, 66-61, is a close battle at Mizzou Arena.
Steve Moore and Phil Pressey also added nine points for the Tigers (1-0), who improved to 5-0 in season-openers under head coach Mike Anderson.
"For a coach I got the chance to learn a lot of lessons," Missouri head coach Mike Anderson said. "What I mean is I told our guys you're going to have teams that are going to come in here, or where ever you play and give their best shot. They are going to come after us, and I thought Western Illinois came in and took it right to us physically, and challenged our guys. But in the end, I thought our guys dug deep and found a way to make plays."
Matt Lander finished with a game-high 24 points and Kaimarr Price added 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Leathernecks (2-1), who topped Savannah State on Sunday.
The Leathernecks started the game on a 9-2 run but Justin Safford hit a three with 17:21 left to get the Tigers started. The teams kept it close down the stretch and after Lander hit a short jumper with 1:20 remaining to tie the game at 29, the Tigers responded with a Ricardo Ratliffe layup and Moore trey to take a 34-29 lead at the half.
Price converted a three-point play with 5:18 remaining to knot the game at 55 and used a breakaway layup with just over three minutes left to put Western Illinois up 57-55. The Tigers then hit five from the line to go up 60-57.
Lander's two free throws with 17 ticks left cut the Missouri lead to 63-61, but Missouri's Michael Dixon made three-of-four from the line in the final 15 seconds to secure the win.
The Tigers are ranked in the preseason for the first time since 2003-04...Missouri has now won both meetings with the Leathernecks...Western Illinois won the rebounding battle, 38-37...The Tigers hit 14-of-27 from the line, 51.9 percent; 8-of-11, 72.7 percent for the Leathernecks.
11/19 02:09:23 ET
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