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Dixon's layup pushes Missouri men's basketball past Texas

Monday, January 30, 2012 | 10:33 p.m. CST; updated 11:30 p.m. CST, Monday, January 30, 2012
Missouri guard Michael Dixon Jr. drives around Texas guard Myck Kabongo during the first half of Missouri's 67-66 win against Texas in Austin.

Missouri men's basketball coach Frank Haith didn't get the same reaction leaving the Erwin Center as he did entering it.

Haith, a former Texas assistant coach, was applauded by Texas fans when he was introduced before Monday's game againt the Longhorns in Austin, Texas. But no Longhorns fans were applauding Haith as he left the court, having beat his mentor Rick Barnes' team for the second time this season.

After leading for almost the entire second half, Haith and the No. 4 Tigers trailed the Longhorns by one point with under a minute to play.

Out of a timeout, junior guard Michael Dixon brought the ball up the court, drove to his left and lofted the ball over a much taller Texas defender. The ball hit high on the backboard, then bounced down into the hoop to give Missouri a 67-66 lead that would end up being the final score.

The game-winner capped an outstanding performance by Dixon, who scored a team-high 21 points and made nine of his 10 shots.

The Tigers led by double-digits twice in the second half, but weren't able to put the Longhorns away for good until the final buzzer.

"We had some ups and downs, but any team that's trying to win is gonna have that," Dixon said on ESPN after the game.

Missouri, which struggled to win just one game on the road in Big 12 Conference play last season, is now 3-2 on the road in the conference this season.

The Tigers dealt with foul trouble throughout Monday's game. Dixon, Ricardo Ratliffe and Steve Moore all finished the game with four fouls. 

“I thought we did a good job of managing it," Haith said. "Kimmie (Kim English) had to play the whole game basically, and I thought he did a good job.”

English made two 3-pointers and scored eight points. He also led the team with six rebounds.

The victory marked the first time that Missouri swept Texas (13-9, 3-6) in football and basketball in the same school year since 1997-98.

Missouri (20-2, 7-2) trails No. 8 Kansas (17-4, 7-1) by one game for the conference lead. The two top-10 teams face off at 8 p.m. on Saturday night. ESPN's College GameDay will be on hand, making its first trip to a basketball game at MU.

"It's gonna be a loud and crazy game at Mizzou Arena," Dixon said.


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Comments

Mike Sykuta January 31, 2012 | 11:05 a.m.

Nevermind the fact that the reason we lost the lead to begin with (specifically) was Dixon's flagrant foul, giving the 'horns a couple of free shots, and more generally because this team seems incapable of slowing down to run out the clock with more than a few seconds left on it.

Last night and in both losses, the Tigers were up with a handful of minutes left and got lax as they slowed down their play to run down the clock. Last night they played some clutch defense in the final seconds and were pretty lucky overall. But they need to learn how to slow down the game without letting off the gas.

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