Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mizzou Lands in Sorry State 76-53 Loss at Nebraska among Tigers' Worst

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mizzou Lands in Sorry State 76-53 Loss at Nebraska among Tigers' Worst

Article excerpt

Earlier this week, University of Missouri coach Norm Stewart assessed his wheezing team thusly:

"We're close. We're close to being as good as we can be," he said. "Where that puts us, I don't know."

Interpretation: In a rather alarming place. Nebraska jackhammered, dissected and mulched the Tigers 76-53 Saturday night before 13,136 at the Bob Devaney Center and a national TV audience on ESPN. By the time the ghastly affair ended, Stewart's fresh assessment was perhaps best illustrated by his move from his usual seat among players to the end of the bench. The loss was the second-most lopsided against Nebraska in MU history. The worst was a 50-21 drubbing in February 1937. George Edwards was MU's coach at the time. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was President. Stewart was 2 years old. The Tigers, evidently in need of a vat of antifreeze, made only 10 of their first 48 field-goal attempts and were utterly slapstick when it came to defense and ballhandling. After falling behind 43-26 at halftime, MU showed its resilience by . . . failing to make a basket for the first 7 minutes 24 seconds of the second half. By the time L. Dee Murdock ended the drought, Nebraska led 59-33 and MU's sixth loss in its last eight games was assured. MU fell to 9-8 overall, 1-4 in Big 12 Conference play and 1-7 on Saturdays. The Cornhuskers, who play the return game of the rare home-and-home series at MU on Wednesday, are 11-5 and 3-1. In five previous successive home-and-home matchups with opponents, Stewart has gone 1-1. But MU will have some gathering to do if it hopes to split this one. Not that it was all bad. The 'Huskers turned the ball over on three of their first five possessions, and the Tigers - honest - had a 7-0 lead after a 3-pointer by Derek Grimm. But as MU's 10th starting lineup in the last 12 games disintegrated, Nebraska kept its composure, no doubt reassured by overcoming deficits of 13 and 20 points to win its last two games. …

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