Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

In Columbia, Arkansas Has Mizzou's Number

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

In Columbia, Arkansas Has Mizzou's Number

Article excerpt

In the 25-year history of the Hearnes Center, no one had the audacity to do what Arkansas has done. That is, win four games in a row in the basketball arena where Missouri has gone 308-49 over the years.

But the 22nd-ranked Razorbacks' 80-76 victory Saturday before a sellout crowd established a previously unscaled height of domination: Arkansas has won five in succession overall in the series, and Mizzou hasn't beaten the Razorbacks here since 1988.

Tigers coach Norm Stewart, peeved at seeing Nolan Richardson's club stroll out of Hearnes with another win, fumed over MU's early spirit of giving. "I didn't realize it was this close to Christmas," Stewart said, snarling. "They dictated most of the game, and we let their pressure get to us. It was a giveaway. "To me, this was a ballgame we should have won. And it shouldn't have been very difficult." Though Stewart insisted that Arkansas "isn't as strong as it's been in the past," the Razorbacks (3-1) gave Mizzou (4-2) fits with its frenetic "40 Minutes of Hell" defense. The play often was ragged, with turnovers arriving in droves. The harried Tigers were guilty of 25 turnovers - but the sloppy Razorbacks trumped that, with 29. Richardson's teams thrive on a playground pace, though. Stewart, terming it a "scrabble" game, said: "They play that way, and if you let them play that way . . . if you can't hold onto the ball while they're slapping at it, if you can't hold onto it and put it in the hole . . . " You're in for a difficult night . . . Which is just what it was for the Tigers, although they continually fought from behind, pulling themselves from seeming oblivion several times. Arkansas, fueled by five MU turnovers in five possessions, pushed out to a 26-16 lead midway through the first half. The Tigers, getting a lift from substitute point guard Corey Tate (Pattonville), battled back to 30-30. "He came in and gave us a good lift," Stewart said. "He moves the ball well, and he's bigger and stronger (6 feet 4, 229 pounds), so he helps us on the boards." But the Tigers faded over the final 90 seconds, and Arkansas grabbed a 35-30 advantage on a swished 3-pointer by Pat Bradley from the right corner. …

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