The Missouri Tigers snapped a nine game losing streak against the Illinois Fighting Illini by winning 81-68 in St. Louis to claim braggin’ rights for 2009. Mizzou was led by Kim English who scored 24 points while freshmen Michael Dixon, filling in for Zaire Taylor who was ill, scored 16.
The Tigers played some solid defense in the second half. They needed it as their hot shooting from the first half cooled quite a bit in the second as the Tigers shot just 31% in the second half. However, Illinois struggled as well shooting 35% in the second half as head coach Mike Anderson called that a half of defensive runs.
Illinois trailed 41-34 at the half and could never close to less than six points. It wasn’t until the final two minutes that the Tigers pulled away when Dixon hit a three with 3:36 to go to make the score 75-61.
In the first half, English sparked the Tigers hitting four three pointers in the first half. He had 15 points in the first 20 minutes. Kimmie hit his 2nd three of the game to make it 14-11 with just under 14 minutes to play in the first half after Jeff Jordan (Michael’s oldest son) tied the game at 11-11 with a jumper from the right side. Illinois battled back after falling behind 7-2 early.
The Illini took the lead, their first of the night with 9:16 to go after converting a free throw to make it 20-19. Illinois was in the bonus while they only had two fouls called against them at that point. With the score tied at 24-24, the fouls started to even out as Illinois was called for three offensive fouls and went scoreless for over six minutes. In that time, the Tigers built a 38-28 with just over two minutes to go.
Mizzou shot 55% in the first half, and 54% from three point range hitting 6 of 11 shots.
Listen to Kim English and Michael Dixon.
Listen to Mike Anderson.