for this game

Missouri gets revenge on Nebraska with big second half

Feb 15, 2009 - 4:25 AM COLUMBIA, Missouri (Ticker) -- Missouri wasn't about to let it happen again - and certainly not on its home floor.

The 19th-ranked Tigers avenged a loss from their conference opener on Saturday, getting back at Nebraska with a 70-47 rout.

The Cornhuskers dealt the Tigers an upset loss to kick off the conference slate on January 10, holding them to their lowest scoring output of the season. Saturday's rematch was just as ugly for Missouri - for one half, at least. Afterward, it finally showed why it's the highest scoring team in the Big 12.

After taking a six-point lead into halftime, the Tigers (22-4, 9-2 Big 12) stormed ahead after the break, missing just three shots over the first nine minutes and putting it on cruise control from there on. DeMarre Carroll and Matt Lawrence scored 13 points apiece and J.T. Tiller added 11 on 5-of-7 shooting to lift Missouri to its fifth victory in a row.

"I thought in the second half, we not only started making shots, our defense continued to build up," Missouri coach Mike Anderson said.

The Tigers did a lot of their damage on the defensive end, holding Nebraska (15-8, 5-5) to 29 percent shooting (14-of-49) and forcing 18 turnovers.

"What a defensive effort by our guys," Anderson said. "They came in with a mind set of defense. That has been the concept of our last two games. We want to hang out and really make them shoot the ball, especially in the first half. We came out and played tremendous defense."

That defensive effort saved them throughout the first half, as they struggled to get anything going early on. Missouri missed six straight shots at one point and managed just 18 points through the first 17:15 of the game. But a late first-half flurry finally seemed to jump-start its offense.

Lawrence buried a 3-pointer to extend the lead to four and Marcus Denmon found Carroll for a dunk one possession later as things finally began to open up. Lawrence closed the half with a layup to push the lead to 25-19.

"That's one of the things I am saying about our guys, they handled (Nebraska's defense) well," Anderson said. "I think it's the rhythm of the game, they throw your game off. Leo Lyons only got two touches. And look at the kind of shots they gave him. But our guys found a different way to score."

With the Huskers still within six early in the second half, the Tigers began to put the game away as Tiller's 3-pointer sparked a 17-6 run. Lawrence and Denmon also connected from long range during the spurt, which gave Missouri a 48-31 advantage.

"We went into the locker room at halftime and Coach told us the game was getting boring," Tiller said. "We didn't want it to be boring. That gave us energy (and) we came out ready in the second half."

Another 13-2 surge later in the half left no doubt as Missouri remained unbeaten at home during league play.

Brandon Richardson led the Huskers with 12 points off the bench. Senior guard Ade Dagunduro collected 11 points, seven boards and four steals in a losing cause.

With the loss, Nebraska's three-game winning streak came to an end following last Saturday's upset victory over Texas.

"You have to stay close to Missouri,. They get out of sight and it's hard to play catch-up to them," Nebraska coach Doc Sadler said. "I'm not disappointed in our effort at all; my guys wanted it, it just wasn't there. We just didn't take care of the ball and you have to give them credit."