It looks like the Cardinals and Albert Pujols can cancel their trip to Phoenix for Friday’s arbitration hearing. The two sides are apparently close to making a seven-year deal worth $100-million official. This will be the richest contract in Cardinal history. The details that need to hammered out include how much of the money will be deferred. This will be the most lucrative deal for someone with as little experience as Pujols, but it’s hard to ignore his numbers. In three seasons, Pujols has a batting average of .334 and averaged 39 homers and 130 RBI’s a year–no one has ever put up numbers that gaudy in their first three seasons. The Missouri Tigers overcame 23 turnovers and Iowa State’s late charge to secure an 82-70 win at the Hearnes Center. Mizzou built a 50-33 lead early on in the second half, but the Cyclones–who have yet to win on the road this season–steadily chipped away at the lead. Jared Homan’s basket with 9:54 to go cut the Tiger’s lead to 59-55. On the next Possession, Jason Conley roared down the left baseline, flew underneath the basket and dunked on his way past, getting fouled in the process. Conley made the free throw to give Mizzou a seven-point lead. Another late dagger came from Josh Kroenke who came off the bench and hit a three-pointer with 5:18 to go–that made it 71-62 Tigers. Sophomore guard Jimmy McKinney finished with a career-high 21 points. Rickey Paulding added 19 points, while Arthur Johnson scored 16 and grabbed 11 rebounds. The win is Missouri’s third straight–it’s their first three-game winning streak since starting the season 3-0. They also moved into a four-way tie with Texas Tech, Colorado and Oklahoma for fourth place in the Big 12. Mizzou is 12-10 overall and 6-5 in conference play.
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