No. 5 Missouri cruises past Oklahoma StateMar 9, 2012 - 3:22 AM Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) - Kim English led the way with 27 points and Marcus Denmon followed with 24 as No. 5 Missouri cruised past Oklahoma State 88-70 in the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Tournament on Thursday.
"I thought that we played very well tonight," remarked Missouri head coach Frank Haith after the game. "I thought our defense at the start of the ballgame was outstanding. We got back to guarding the ball the way we were guarding the ball earlier in the year. I thought our intensity level was very good."
Denmon added eight rebounds, while Michael Dixon netted 13 points and handed out seven assists for the Tigers (28-4). Phil Pressey played the role of facilitator with 12 assists as second seed Missouri advanced to a Friday semifinal, where they await the winner of the Texas/Iowa State matchup later on Thursday.
Keiton Page buried six three-pointers en route to 22 points and Brian Williams added 21 points and eight boards off the bench for Oklahoma State (15-18). The seventh-seeded Cowboys defeated Texas Tech 76-60 to advance to the quarterfinals.
Page opened the game with a three-pointer, and added a jumper shortly after to tie the game at six, but Missouri scored the next 17 points to take a 23-6 lead with 10:49 left in the first half.
English started the surge with a triple en route to 10 points during the run that saw the Tigers take a commanding lead.
The advantage reached 29 after Denmon buried a jumper to give Missouri a 47-18 lead with 1:11 remaining in the first half.
The Tigers would take a 49-24 lead into the locker room.
Denmon finished a layup to push the lead to 29 just before the midway point of the second half, but Page was not ready for his college career to end.
In his final game as a Oklahoma State Cowboy, Page buried back-to-back threes and added a third after a Brian Williams' tip in to bring Oklahoma State within 19 with eight minutes to play.
"We weren't knocking down shots and it was just a rough first half," commented Williams after the game. "We had a better second half but I think it was a little too late. We dug ourselves too big of a hole."
The Cowboys comeback stalled at 15, however, as Missouri hung on down the stretch for the double digit victory.
Missouri is playing in its final Big 12 Tournament, as it prepares to enter the SEC next season...The Tigers won the rebounding battle 40-20...Missouri shot 59.3 percent from the field, while OK State shot 46.4 percent.
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