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Around the Columns

Late run powers Mizzou past KU

Although Missouri and Kansas aren’t certain when or if they will meet again on Norm Stewart Court, one thing is for sure: The Tigers won this game, and it lived up to the hype.

No. 4 Mizzou scored the final 11 points of a game that featured 15 lead changes and 7 ties, and Missouri notched a 74-71 win against its oldest rival Feb. 4, 2012, at Mizzou Arena. Senior guard Marcus Denmon led all scorers with 29 points, including two crucial 3-pointers down the stretch, and junior guard Michael Dixon’s pair of free throws punctuated the victory with 9.8 seconds remaining.

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“It was a great atmosphere, a great game and a memorable game,” said Missouri Coach Frank Haith referring to the sellout crowd of 15,061. “The crowd was as loud as any that I have ever been in.”

Missouri senior guard Kim English — who revived after a halftime stomachache — added 18 points, and Dixon finished with 15. But it was defense that paved the way for the latest Missouri win in the 107-year rivalry, and the Tigers penchant for absorbing charges resulted in multiple critical turnovers.

The Missouri win creates a three-way, first-place tie with No. 8 KU and No. 6 Baylor in the Big 12 with the Tigers possessing wins over both teams. Kansas leads the all time Border Showdown series 171-95, and the two teams will square off again in Lawrence, Kan., Feb 25, which airs on CBS.

“Where we come from in Kansas City, there are Kansas fans and Missouri fans everywhere,” Dixon said. “You can’t sit here and say this is an ordinary game because it’s not. It’s always good to beat [Kansas], but we’ve got to play Oklahoma on Monday.”

Although Mizzou — which heads to the SEC after the 2011–12 season — wants to continue one of the country’s favorite rivalries in non-conference play, Kansas does not appear interested at this time.“I think it would be a shame that we could not continue this,” Haith said. “It’s good for the game of basketball.”