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Around the Columns

Waving goodbye

A tearful Steve Moore took the microphone at Mizzou Arena center court after the Tigers’ 78-72 win against Iowa­ State to close out the 2011–12 home schedule. The first of six seniors to address the crowd after the final home game Feb. 29, 2012, the brutish forward was brutally honest.

“When I first got here, I wasn’t good at all,” said Moore to a laughing crowd of 14,837. “I just want to thank all of­ y’all for believing in me.”

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Moore and senior guards Marcus Denmon, Kim English and Jarrett Sutton hold the Mizzou career wins record with 103 and counting. The seniors played crucial roles in the victory over the Cyclones (21-9, 11-6 Big 12) Wednesday on Norm Stewart Court.

It was Moore’s body-sacrificing dive for a loose ball that gave the Tigers a second-half lead with 12:16 to play. From the floor he passed to junior guard Michael Dixon who delivered to English for an easy layup and a 53-52 lead. Dixon led all scorers with 21 points, while senior forward Ricardo Ratliffe had 16.

The Tigers (26-4, 13-4 Big 12) play Texas Tech (8-21, 1-16) in Lubbock March 3 to close out the Big 12 regular season before the conference tournament begins March 7 in Kansas City, Mo.

“It’s the end of a chapter,” Haith said. “These guys have had some special moments over the four years.”

Haith is a candidate for national coach of the year, and Denmon is a shoe-in for All-Big 12 honors.

“We have so many seniors, so it was really emotional,” said Denmon of his team that trailed by as many as 8 in the first half. “To be able to come back and finish on the home floor with a win was great.”

Marcus Wilkins