Anderson looks for first win over Texas A&M with MU men's basketball team

Thursday, January 13, 2011 | 9:31 p.m. CST; updated 10:26 a.m. CST, Friday, January 14, 2011
MU men's basketball coach Mike Anderson at the Missouri-Central Arkansas game Dec. 18.

COLUMBIA — Mike Anderson doesn't like to think about the past.

That's the outlook the No. 15 Missouri men's basketball team is trying to take entering its game Saturday at No. 14 Texas A&M. Anderson is 0-4 against Texas A&M, making the Aggies the only Big 12 team the Tigers haven't beaten under Anderson. But he indicated Thursday he doesn't pay close attention to such things.

“They play well and match up well with us,” Anderson said. “We get the chance to go to their place, where they’ve played well throughout the year. You’ve got some veteran kids on that team, and they’ve tasted the success of winning.”

Missouri junior guard Marcus Denmon said Anderson's record against the Aggies is the last thing on the team's mind. He said the Tigers are just focused on doing well away from Mizzou Arena.

“Getting a win on the road in conference play is like trying to steal a game because it’s so hard to win on the road,” said Denmon, the Tigers scoring leader at 17.6 points per game. “Texas A&M is a good team, but we’ve been working hard, and we’re going to work on the things we need to do to get ready for the game.”

Sophomore guard Michael Dixon Jr. said he wasn’t sure why Anderson has struggled against Texas A&M, but added that, before last Saturday’s loss at Colorado, Anderson was undefeated in his career against the Buffaloes, so previous games don’t matter.

Anderson had his best chance to beat Texas A&M last season. Playing at home, Missouri held a nine-point lead halfway through the second half. But in the final 10 minutes, the Tigers were unable to make a field goal, and Texas A&M came back to beat the Tigers 77-74.

That loss broke Missouri’s 32-game home winning streak, and Missouri fans got an image they hadn't seen in a long time. As the Missouri players sat on the court with their jerseys untucked and towels dripping over their heads, it was the Aggies, not the Tigers, who were out on Norm Stewart Court celebrating.

“Last year, they took it to the glass on us,” Anderson said. “I think the games that they’ve won, they’ve just physically pounded us. We had an opportunity to close the deal last year, but they’re a good ball club.”

In this year's game, one of Anderson’s main worries is Texas A&M forward Khris Middleton, who had 16 points and four rebounds against Missouri last year.

“Last year, he really hurt us,” Anderson said. “He hit some big, big buckets for them. And he’s playing with a world of confidence right now.”

Missouri, which last won in College Station on Feb. 17, 2001, has lost six straight to Texas A&M.

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