Tigers Win One State, One Spirit Classic

<i>Marcus Denmon finished with a game-high 25 points.</i>

Marcus Denmon finished with a game-high 25 points.

Oct. 30, 2011

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JOPLIN, Mo. - The No. 25 Mizzou basketball team defeated Missouri Southern State in the One State, One Spirit Classic Presented by Leggett and Platt on Sunday (Oct. 30) in Joplin, Mo. The game was another outreach by the Mizzou Department of Athletics and Missouri Southern State Department of Athletics towards the Joplin community following a devastating tornado that hit the area back in May. The two schools raised more than $100,000 for the community with the game.

Mizzou was led by a strong offensive attack as six different players finished in double-figures, led by preseason All-American Marcus Denmon. The Tiger senior tallied 25 points 8-13 shooting including a 4-8 mark from 3-point range. Michael Dixon pitched in 19 points and just missed a double-double with eight rebounds. Matt Pressey added 18 points and Ricardo Ratliffe contributed 17 more.

After a slow first half, senior Kim English connected on a trio of 3-pointers in the second half and finished with 10 points on the game. Sophomore point guard Phil Pressey also had an explosive game with 10 points and a game-high nine assists. As a team, Mizzou shot 57.5-percent from the floor and connected on 54.2-percent from distance.

The community of Joplin showed great support at the game as the Leggett and Platt Arena hosted a sell-out crowd that was the largest in school history at 3,477. The capacity of the building is listed at just 3,200. Fans of both schools from all over the state packed the arena and seemed to cheer both teams. The game was also the first time that fans got to see the team play an opposition under first year head coach Frank Haith.

"It was a humbling experience in the fact that we got to see a lot of Joplin," Denmon said in the postgame press conference. "Some of the things that happened here back in May were devastating. It touched a lot of the guys here. I felt it was good for our team to get out here and see. Hopefully we can learn from the experience."

Mizzou will be back in action on Wednesday (Nov. 2) as they host Truman State at Mizzou Arena in its second exhibition game of the season. For all the latest on Mizzou basketball, stay tuned to MUTigers.com.



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