Iowa State loses 78-72 to No. 7 Missouri

Sports

March 1st, 2012 by Ric Hanson

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Iowa State entered Wednesday night’s game against No. 7 Missouri on a three-game winning streak, propelled by 3-point shooting and Royce White on the inside. Throughout the first half and much of the second against Missouri, the Cyclones looked like they could make it four in a row and sneak into a tie for second place in the Big 12 with one game remaining. But White scored the last of his 20 points with 12 minutes remaining, and Iowa State (21-9, 11-6) fell 78-72 to the Tigers after only making four of its final 15 shots from the field.

Cyclones coach Fred Hoiberg thought his team played more aggressively in the first half but lost its rhythm once the Tigers put bigger defenders on White, who had nine assists. Missouri seemed to be caught up in the emotions of senior night, its porous defense allowing a flurry of 3-pointers by Iowa State that had the Tigers trailing for most of the game. But when Missouri’s Steve Moore dived to corral a rebound midway through the second half, it provided a spark the Tigers would capitalize on en route to a 78-72 victory that clinched the No. 2 seed in next week’s Big 12 tournament. Moore’s pass found Michael Dixon who then made a half-court pass to Kim English for an easy layup with 12:12 remaining that gave Missouri a 53-52 lead, its first since 8:50 left in the first half.

Dixon scored 21 points to lead five Missouri players in double figures. It was Missouri’s 13th Big 12 win, the most in school history as it prepares to leave for the Southeastern Conference next season. Finishing in second place would be the Tigers’ best regular-season performance since coach Norm Stewart’s final season, 1998-99. Iowa State continued its hot shooting from behind the arc, draining 12 3-pointers after entering the game leading the Big 12 by averaging 8.9 per game. The Cyclones hit six in the first half and led 40-36 at halftime after trailing 7-0 to start the game. Iowa State held a 39-28 advantage on the boards, its seventh consecutive game outrebounding an opponent. The Cyclones committed 15 turnovers, which Missouri converted into 16 points.