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Missouri men's basketball team exits NCAA Tournament early again

Thursday, March 21, 2013 | 10:57 p.m. CDT; updated 1:03 a.m. CDT, Friday, March 22, 2013
Colorado State beat the Missouri men's basketball team 84-72 in the Tigers' first game in the 2013 NCAA Tournament on Thursday evening in Lexington, Ky.

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Their smiles quickly vanished.

Forward Alex Oriakhi and guards Earnest Ross and Keion Bell ran onto the court at Rupp Arena to start Thursday's game for Missouri against Colorado State, grinning and giving each other high fives.

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A few minutes later, during a timeout, Tigers coach Frank Haith was hounding his players and smacking his whiteboard, seemingly disgusted at his players lack of effort on defense in the team's 2013 NCAA Tournament opener.

After a 84-72 loss to the Rams in the Midwest regional of the tournament, nobody was smiling.

An early deficit soured the mood quickly.

No. 8-seeded Colorado State jumped out to 47-38 halftime lead behind a 17-point first-half performance from senior guard Dorian Green, who knocked down three 3-pointers in the frame.

By the time No. 9-seeded Missouri (23-11) felt a sense of urgency in the second half, it was already too late.

The Tigers got as close as 47-43 on a junior guard Phil Pressey's layup at the 18:06 mark of the second half, but not long after, a 15-2 run from the Rams put them ahead 64-47 with 12:12 to go. 

Another one-and-done in the NCAA Tournament was finalized. The Tigers were upset by Norfolk State in their first game last year.

Colorado State, a team that had made 33.2 percent of its 3-pointers entering the game, made 50 percent of its long-range shots and was 49 percent from the field. Green, who was coming off an ankle injury, led his team with 26 points.

Pressey led Missouri with 20 points and seven assists, while sophomore Jabari Brown had 14 points.

Missouri fans watched — some with their hands on their faces, others slouching in their chairs — as Rams forward Colton Iverson ripped rebounds out of the hands of Tigers seniors Oriakhi and forward Laurence Bowers.

Oriakhi, who led Missouri in rebounding during the season, had only two against the Rams, but finished with 16 points.

"We normally don't get outrebounded like that," Haith said. "I wish we would have been more passionate about rebounding."

Iverson had 13 rebounds and Colorado State outrebounded Missouri 36-18.

"They really attacked us," Haith said. "They got in the paint, they got some second shots. A team like that who has played together like they played together, they know how to win and that was pretty evident tonight."


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