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Ramsey takes advantage of Lyons' suspension

Saturday, January 17, 2009 | 4:41 p.m. CST; updated 9:59 p.m. CST, Saturday, January 17, 2009
MU forward Leo Lyons (5), center, and teammates Justin Safford (23), left, and Kim English (24) celebrate a basket scored by their teammate Jarrett Sutton, late in the game against Iowa State on Saturday.

COLUMBIA — Senior forward Leo Lyons' one-game suspension Wednesday might have cost him his starting spot.

In Missouri's 77-46 victory Saturday against Iowa State at Mizzou Arena, Lyons' replacement, Keith Ramsey, scored a season-high 10 points and added two blocks to bring his team-high season total to 18.

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Missouri coach Mike Anderson was clearly impressed, giving the 6-foot-9 junior a season-high 21 minutes for the second game in a row. Anderson said Ramsey will likely start Wednesday at Oklahoma State.

"I'm having a lot more fun, man," Ramsey said. "I'm just getting back to the things I used to do."

Lyons did come off the bench Saturday, scoring 12 points and grabbing eight rebounds in 19 minutes to help the Tigers post their second consecutive 30-point win against a Big 12 Conference opponent.

"Leo, even with him coming back, I thought he came out and really got after it," Anderson said.

Ramsey was a big factor in shutting down Iowa State's Craig Brackins, who came into the game as the second leading scorer in the Big 12. He scored just two points in the second half and finished with 10, eight below his season average.

"I thought Keith did a great job inside," Anderson said. "You're not going to see Brackins have too many nights like that, but I can attribute that to our defense. I thought Keith did a great job of really moving his feet, especially in the second half. (That) kind of frustrated Brackins."

All of the Tigers took that defensive approach. Missouri frustrated Iowa State all game in front of 12,403 fans. The Cyclones committed seven turnovers in the first nine minutes and shot 33 percent from the field, including 2-of-17 from three-point range.

Ramsey's scoring outburst included an extension of his shooting range.  He made both of his three-point attempts, giving him five on the season. He lagged behind Lyons and DeMarre Carroll in rebounding, though. Against Iowa State, Ramsey finished with three rebounds while Carroll had nine and Lyons had eight.

"I've got to start getting more rebounds," Ramsey said. "I'm the type of person that makes (opponents) miss, so I look to my other players to get the rebounds. I'm a shot blocker, the cleanup man."

Earlier this year, Ramsey's father predicted in a phone interview with the Missourian that his son would become a more important player for the Tigers in conference play.

The junior college transfer has proved him right the past two games. Even in the loss at Nebraska, Ramsey saw more time than he got in most nonconference games.

"I'm the type of player, I like to play to my competition," Ramsey said. "So I believe I'm going to keep on playing as hard as I can and doing it on the defensive end and my offense is going to come."


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