Leo Lyons scored 20 points to lead the Missouri Tigers to another easy victory in Canada.
Sept. 1, 2008
Welland, Ontario -
Monday morning's contest vs. the Southern Ontario All-Stars was expected to be the toughest of Missouri's three-game Canadian Tour, and it was, but the Tigers led by as many as a31 points in the fourth quarter and cruised to a 109-92 win to cap the team's three-game exhibition slate with a perfect 3-0 mark.
Leo Lyons led the Tigers with 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting and newcomer Zaire Taylor chipped in 15 points and an incredible eight steals to lead the Tigers to the 17-point triumph. Taylor tied for the team lead with five boards, while dishing four assists for a terrific all-around performance.
The All-Stars stayed in the game early on with tremendous three-point shooting. A veteran group comprised of former Canadian collegiates, including the five starters off of Brock University's 2007-08 national championship team, hit 9-of-14 three-pointers in the opening half and tied the game at 29-29 early in the second quarter before the Tigers seized control.
Missouri used a 16-0 run late in the second quarter to build a 56-34 advantage with J.T. Tiller, Lyons and fellow senior DeMarre Carroll leading the way. Tiller opened the run with five quick points off of steals and Lyons added six off a jumper from the wing and a pair of dunks. The second of Lyons' two dunks came courtesy of an alley-oop pass from Carroll, who also added a dunk and a steal/lay-in.
The Tigers kept the pressure on in the second half, slowly extending their advantage to 31, 94-63, on a Justin Safford jumper from the wing. The All-Stars did cut into the advantage with a barrage of late three-pointers and 32-of-46 shooting from the foul stripe.
Missouri got solid production from its youthful bench in the second half as starters Tiller, Lyons and Carroll played just nine minutes apiece over the final two periods. Kansas City natives Steve Moore and Marcus Denmon each scored seven points, while Lakeland, Fla., product Miguel Paul scored eight points, dished a pair of assists and had three steals.
Monday's game concluded the team's three-game tour in Ontario, Canada. The Tigers open practice for the 2008-09 season on Oct. 17.
For More information on the University of Missouri Basketball program, please visit our website at mutigers.com.
Missouri Basketball Post-Game Quotes:
Missouri 109, Southern All-Stars 92
Head Coach Mike Anderson:
"This was a beneficial trip for us. "We saw our young guys get a lot of experience against some different types of teams and that team today was a good club, a team that knows how to win. I thought we did a better job defending in the second half. That's a team that looks for the three-pointer and they didn't make any in the third quarter once we talked through the adjustments with some of our younger guys."
"We put a few different line-ups out there today and we mixed in some of our newcomers with our returners and you could see it flowed a little better this morning. Again, this was the best test of the tour. That's a team that has beaten some Division I teams already and they are a little older, a little more mature, so that was a good test for us."
Tiger Player Quotes:
"I give that team a lot of credit today. "They have a lot of pride and play hard. They were physical, but overall, this was a good trip for all of us. We've only been practicing together for a few days and you can't pick this system up that fast. Man, I've been in this system for three years and I'm still learning, so I think our new guys are getting some great experience."
"I just think we got better each night, a little more comfortable out there. We had different guys scoring, rebounding, playing defense each night. We have some options out there if one guy is having a tough night or someone gets into foul trouble."
"I think my defense is further along right now and I try to use that to help us score. I didn't realize I had eight steals, but we were able to turn those turnovers into points and that's why we scored 109 points against a good team."
"Oh ya, this was the best team we faced up here. They played hard and they can really shoot it, but Coach made some adjustments and we didn't let them get many good three-point looks in the second half.
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