Nov 29, 2003
Box Score |
ROCHESTER, Mich. (AP) - Rickey Paulding's and Arthur Johnson's return home
almost turned into a disaster.
Paulding scored 21 points and Johnson added 19 to lead No. 5 Missouri to a
tough season-opening 90-85 victory over Oakland on Saturday night.
Paulding, a preseason All-American, and Johnson are both products of the
Detroit Public School League. Oakland is located 30 miles north of downtown
Detroit, and the pair had a large cheering section among the sellout crowd of
"Motown has been very good to us with Rickey and A.J., and that's why we
gave up a home game to play here," Tigers coach Quin Snyder said. "But with
four minutes left, it wasn't seeming like such a good idea."
Missouri led Oakland (2-4), in just its sixth year of Division I-A play, by
only one with less than three minutes to play. The Golden Grizzlies had lost
their last two games, to Michigan and Cincinnati, by an average of 27.5 points.
"I've got a lot of old friends on that Oakland team, so I knew they were
going to be tough," Paulding said. "There was no way they were going to lay
Jimmy McKinney added 21 points for Missouri, which had five players score in
double figures. The Tigers hurt themselves by committing 20 turnovers to just
seven for Oakland.
"We needed a game like this - all the practice in the world can't replace
game action," Snyder said. "A.J. and Rickey were under a lot of pressure
playing at home, but I'm proud of the way all our guys responded down the
Oakland's Rawle Marshall led all scorers with 27 points, while Mike Helms
had 21 before fouling out with 8:12 left and Missouri leading 70-67.
"I was disappointed that they fouled out the MVP of our league on a touch
foul," Oakland coach Greg Kampe said. "But we know that we have to be able to
play without Mike, and our guys held them even from that point on."
With Helms exhorting his teammates during timeouts, Oakland pulled within
83-82 on a free throw by Marshall with 2:43 left.
"Sometimes when a star goes out, other guys step up, and that's what
Marshall did," Snyder said. "This isn't a matter of us just overlooking an
opponent - we played a very good team tonight. I expect them to win their
league and no one will want to play them in the tournament."
After a miss by Johnson, Scott had a chance to give the Golden Grizzlies the
lead but his shot rimmed out. Johnson then had a dunk to give Missouri an 88-85
lead with 46 seconds left.
DeMarcus Ishmeal then missed a tying 3-point attempt, ending Oakland's
The Golden Grizzlies missed 10 of 31 free throws, including five in the
final 10 minutes, while Missouri was nearly perfect from the line.
"You have to give them all the credit in the world - they hit 23 of 25 free
throws, and one of those misses came after the game was over," Kampe said.
"That's impressive for a team playing its opener on the road."
Oakland started the second half with a 12-2 run, including eight points from
Helms, and took a 46-44 lead with 17:11 to go.
Helms picked up his fourth foul with 13:08 to play, but Paulding got his
fourth just four seconds later.
Oakland led 64-63 with 11 minutes left, but McKinney's 3-pointer started a
7-1 run that forced Oakland to put Helms back into the game.
Missouri only led 33-30 with five minutes left in the first half, but went
on a 9-4 run to take a 42-34 lead at halftime. Paulding led the Tigers with 12,
while Marshall had 12 for the Golden Grizzlies.
"This was an exciting night," Johnson said. "I've played AAU ball with
Mike and played against some of the other guys, so I knew what to expect. I'm
just glad to be home and glad we pulled it out."