Missouri seeks better health at Baylor - KMOV.com

Missouri seeks better health at Baylor

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- J.T. Tiller's broken nose was just one of the hurdles Missouri had to overcome to start a new homecourt winning streak. The Tigers could use some better health entering Saturday's game at No. 24 Baylor.

Forward Keith Ramsey sprained his left ankle in the first half, severely limiting his production in a 65-56 victory over Iowa State on Wednesday. Guard Zaire Taylor had intestinal issues and was scoreless for the second straight game -- the first time that's happened in his college career.

"Zaire was sick, you could see his energy wasn't there," coach Mike Anderson said. "We had guys sick, we had guys that hadn't practiced, so it just seemed like our rhythm was off. But it seemed like when we had to, our defense had good rhythm."

Missouri also survived an off-night from leading scorer Kim English, who spent more than 18 minutes on the bench in the first half after two early fouls and was held to nine points.

Tiller's best scoring night of the season helped the Tigers overcome those woes. Tiller tossed aside the protective headgear in the opening minute to improve his view and scored 17 points, only his second time in double figures the last 11 games.

"I guess that's what the senior leaders are for," Tiller said. "Any other night, we have Kim and Marcus (Denmon) and anybody else making those shots."

Part of that leadership was risking the pain from an inadvertent bump to the nose on forays to the basket.

"It's just something you have to deal with," Tiller said. "There were a couple of close calls, they might have tipped it into my nose or something.

"I was definitely getting scared, but I didn't get hit head on, so I'm glad about that."

Tiller was supposed to step up and be a big scorer this year, filling the void from departed stars DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons. It hasn't worked out that way, with Tiller averaging just 8.7 points, and he had only four last Saturday at Colorado.

"If you watch this kid, have watched him over the years, it's not necessarily just his offense," Anderson said. "I think it's his tenaciousness, I think his energy is contagious to this team.

"J.T.'s just all heart, he's got a big heart."

English rescued his night somewhat with clutch play late, scoring five points in an 11-0 run that put Missouri ahead by 12 in the final minute.

"I played more in the layup line than I did in the first half," English said. "But we won."

NOTES: Missouri is 10-5 against Baylor since the formation of the Big 12, including the title game of last year's conference tournament, but the Bears are 11-1 at home this season and Missouri hasn't won in Waco since Feb. 21, 2004. ... Missouri has two wins over Top 25 teams on the road in four seasons under Anderson, beating Texas last February and Oklahoma State in February 2007. ... The Tigers' top three scorers are sophomores English (14.8), Denmon (11.1) and Laurence Bowers (10.8), and the latter two are reserves. The last time the top three scorers were underclassmen was in 1999-2000 with Keyon Dooling (15.3), Kareem Rush (14.7) and Clarence Gilbert (13.7).

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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