Keion Bell scored 24 points and Earnest Ross added 23, both season highs, and Phil Pressey dished out 10 assists, as the 17th ranked Missouri Tigers pulled away for a 91-77 victory over Auburn on Saturday at Mizzou Arena. Ross hit five 3-pointers off the bench against his former team. He played two seasons at Auburn, leading the team with 13.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. He admitted he was pumped up for this game, but considered it a friendly rivalry.
The game lacked any type of flow as both Tiger squads combined for 49 fouls and 69 free throws. Bell and Ross helped pace Mizzou which shot 54.5% for the game. Mizzou also did a great job defensively forcing 12 turnovers and coming up with eight steals.
The Tigers and Florida are the only teams in the SEC unbeaten teams at home, moving to 13-0. Frank Haith credits the win to having a full roster of players available to play for just the third time this season. Haith wasn’t sure he would have Bell until the start of the game. He missed Wednesday’s game with an bad shoulder, but made the start and helped spark the defense twice coming up with steals and breakaway dunks. In the second half, he came up with his third steal and a breakaway layup.
Pressey, after attempting 22 shots in the loss to LSU, did not attempt a shot until early in the second half, when he made a three pointer. Pressey had just two shot attempts on the day, but finished with 10 assists. Alex Oriakhi finished with 11 points and surpassed 1,000 for his career.
You’ll hear from Haith’s comments in the postgame, how Phil’s passing ability created a ripple effect on the rest of the offense.
AUDIO Mizzou postgame with Earnest Ross, Alex Oriakhi and Frank Haith (11:00)