Mizzou 93, Arkansas 63



March 5, 2013

Recap |  Box Score |  Notes |  Staff  |  AP 

Missouri Head Coach Frank Haith

Opening Statement...
"Obviously it was a really good game for us. I thought our guys played really hard. Defensively, we were really good in the first half. I thought our offensive execution was outstanding. Once again, we had 40 plus points in the paint. All in all, it was a good performance."

On high emotions during the game...
"It was just an intense game in terms of we needed to get a conference win. It's March, so everybody's battling this time of year. I did talk to our team about dialing down the emotion. Obviously, you're not in your normal routine. The start of the game gets pushed back because of the shot clock deal. Senior night is always emotional. I talked to our guys about how to temper that. The first five minutes, you're not going to knock anybody out of the game. I thought our guys handled it well."

On the exchange with Arkansas coach Mike Anderson...
"I thought it was a miscommunication. I'm emotional and I was emotional for my team. I was encouraging my team and I think he thought I was saying something else, but I was only talking to my team."

On Laurence Bowers...
"You root for all your guys, but you really root for Laurence Bowers because he does all the right things. I just feel real blessed to have been around him for two years. He's been through a lot and he's handled it unbelievably. With his ACL, MCL, and not playing well when he got back, he's handled all that so well because he's a smart young man and I'm glad to see him play well."

On team defense...
"I thought we were on point defensively. Shrinking gaps, keeping them out of the point, and rebounding the ball. Other than our turnovers, which allowed them to get into the paint, we had a really good game from a defensive standpoint."

On playing better at the end of the year...
"That was the plan. I knew our talent level was good and I felt good about our personnel. We lost Mike Dixon, one of our best players early in the year. So we had to revamp it a little bit. I think our guys really bought into it. We have good talent and guys from different area, in terms of their roles. You're hoping and doing your job in terms of educating and communicating with them, the role you want them to fit into with this team. That takes time and you're going to have ups and downs. But if you stay the course, you can hopefully have the incline at the end and that's where we're at."

On Jabari Brown's play...
"He had a tough outing last time and I challenged him tonight. He understood it was about his defensive. He took a charge tonight, and let that help him stay on the court. We need him because he's a scorer for us. When he's playing at a high level, it makes everything else better."

Mizzou Senior Forward Laurence Bowers

On his senior night...
"It's very embracing - this was the way I wanted to go out my senior night. We got the win. I tried to respond to as many people as I can on Twitter because I love interacting with the fans, they're a big part of our success. My senior night was a success."

On interacting with fans via social media...
"Mizzou Nation - they've been great to me my whole tenure here. Whenever I can reach back and interact with anybody from Mizzou, I take pride in doing that because like I said, this place has given me great memories and the fans have been nothing but amazing. I think that's a way of me showing my appreciation."

On not wanting to comment about Mike Anderson...
"It was a hard fought game, and that's the big picture. It was Missouri vs. Arkansas. I'm just glad that we got the win. We just have to continue to click on all cylinders and get better each and every day, and try to win the championship."

On how the Tigers are "coming together" and how they will go forward... "You definitely want to hit your stride at this point. We're in practice; we're really grinding and getting after it. Everybody has just bought in and the results are showing. We just have to continue to do what we're doing. Obviously March is a big month so, we've got our eyes on the prize and we're going to work our tails off to try to get it."

Mizzou Senior Center Alex Oriakhi

On senior night...
"I'm extremely happy for Laurence, not only is he a great player - he's a great guy and teammate - I'm happy he was able to play well and get the win. On my part, it was definitely a great feeling to get the win, and being able to walk out there with my family, because they know how much I love them. I'm happy Laurence was able to end it the way he wanted to."

On Coach Haith's emotions in the first half...
"Coach is an emotional guy and I definitely think we feed off that. I looked at him on the side and I didn't really recognize him, that was the most emotional I've ever seen him. But we feed off of it."

Mizzou Senior Guard Keion Bell

On the emotional intensity of senior night...
"Emotions were pretty high for all of us, particularly for me, senior night kind of snuck up on me in a sense. I wasn't really emotional before, but once I started getting all the tweets and hearing the players talk about it, I said, "man, this is really my last game here." I just tried to be selfless because most importantly I wanted Laurence to go out with a great game and memory, and I believe he did so."

On Laurence Bowers' recent performances...
"It's not just necessarily the points - didn't he have a double digit rebounding game? Just the fact that he's back playing well, he's the leader of our team and everyone on our roster looks up to him. For one of our players to be playing so well, propelling us into the tournament, it's a very good thing."

Arkansas Head Coach Mike Anderson:

Opening Statement....
"Congratulations to Missouri. It was senior night tonight so you expect emotions to be running sky high. I think those seniors set the stage for them. Bowers was fantastic, and Phil, he's going to run the show - that's what he does - he's a great point guard. (Jabari) Brown shot the ball well too. They had a lot of things going in their direction so you have to give them a lot of credit. It was a great atmosphere. Congratulations to them."

On his team's performance tonight....
"I thought we came out doing the right things and then I thought that they (Missouri) gained some momentum and went on a run. I thought we enabled some of that between our free throws and turnovers and not doing a good job on the glass. You just cannot get destroyed on the glass and even have a chance in a game of this magnitude. The games are big this time of year, there is a lot at stake, and I think they showed a desperation more so than we did. I thought BJ did some good things offensively, I just think defensively we're not where we need to be."

On returning to Mizzou Arena....
"It was just another game for me. The only thing that was emotional for me was seeing the kids I brought here. You go back to when we came here, and this program, and what is taking place. There is passion about Tiger basketball and that is good to see. I think Frank has done an excellent job of getting this team to play excellent basketball. I thought it was a great atmosphere tonight. There were two teams who were trying to really finish up the season on a nice run. They are playing some good basketball. It was good to see some old friends."

Reflecting on his time at Mizzou....
"When I came here, I said, I will do the job, I will have it be one of the top programs in the country. I said it's going to be a brand, and that brand is going to be first class, we're going to graduate kids and they are going to do the right things on and off the floor. Five years later, I think we did that. I have no regrets about being at the University of Missouri, the people were great to me and my family and I appreciate the time we had here. We did the best we could do."

Arkansas Guard BJ Young

On his game...
"I thought I played good enough to lose. No, I think I played pretty good. I tried my best and tried to do everything I can to win. I had a lot of fun coming back home. Even though we lost, I still enjoyed it, but I wish we would have won."

On what caused the loss...
"I think they had a lot of momentum going their way and they kept the momentum for a while. They killed us on the glass. They got a lot more physical than we did. I think their seniors stepped up for them on their senior night. Their crowd was really rocking and I think we have gotten overwhelmed or something of that nature."

On Missouri's play...
"They had a great game today. They executed their game plan and executed all the intangibles. They really played good today. We fought pretty hard with them, but I think it was more them. They had a pretty good game. We could have done things better on the court. We had a lot of opportunities to capitalize, but we can always go back to practice, take it to the drawing board and get ready for Texas A&M."

Arkansas Forward Kikko Haydar

On what went wrong...
"We started off the game pretty well. We took their first punch and responded and then they started hitting shots and we didn't hit shots and in the game of basketball you've got to make shots."

On missing key shots...
"It's certainly frustrating. Our game plan coming in was not too many threes to be honest with you. We did a bad job of following through on the game plan so we'll have to go back to work, see what we did wrong, and get ready for A&M."

On the emotional environment...
"We knew there was going to be a lot of emotion. This was the game I'm sure they've circled all year and they've been waiting for, especially the fans. I gotta hand it to them. They played well and they got what they came for."



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