All year long, Missouri coach Quin Snyder has told Jason Horton he could judge his play by his team’s performance.
If that’s the case, Horton had the best game of his short career against Oklahoma.
Horton, a freshman point guard, led his team to a tough 68-65 overtime win against No. 16 Oklahoma. Against the Sooners’ tough zone defense, Horton possessed great court vision. He constantly found his open teammates and earned 10 assists. Not only did he distribute well, but he also took care of the ball and had only two turnovers in 41 minutes.
“I think it was his best game by a long shot,” Snyder said. “The real reason is because it was a win. That’s how Jason needs to evaluate his play.
“If his team wins, he played well.”
Horton agreed with his coach, saying Missouri’s record has been a barometer of his play all season.
“Coaches have been always yelling at me, you could have 30 points or whatever, have a great game but if you don’t win, obviously I didn’t do my job,” Horton said.
Horton was quick to give credit to his teammates for making him look good. He said Thomas Gardner, who hit 7-of-13 for 18 points, was a big part of his success against Oklahoma.
Snyder said his success started this past week in the gym.
“He’s been more vocal in practice,” Snyder said. “He’s getting more comfortable. I think our guys are listening, getting more used to hearing his voice, which makes him a more effective leader.”
SO CLOSE: For most of the game, it looked like Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson would finally claim the record for wins in the Big 12 Conference.
Missouri (11-13, 3-4 Big 12) foiled Sampson’s attempt to top the Big 12 by beating the Sooners 68-65 in overtime. Sampson remains tied with former Kansas coach Roy Williams with 94 Big 12 wins since the formation of the conference 10 years ago.
Sampson is 94-43 in league play and has the most regular season wins in the Big 12 with a record of 211-75. The game against Missouri wasn’t Sampson’s first chance to take sole possession of the record. Oklahoma (17-6, 6-4) is on a three-game losing skid since Sampson got his 94th win against Texas A&M (69-65) at Norman, Okla.
To compare, Snyder is 47-41 in his sixth season in regular-season conference play. Sampson’s next chance to get his 95th win is Wednesday against Nebraska in Norman.
REMEMBERING BOWDEN: Before the start of every Missouri game there is a routine.
Saturday’s routine was a little bit different.
Prior to the singing of the national anthem, everyone in attendance at Mizzou Arena was asked to observe a moment of silence for police officer Molly Bowden.
Bowden died Thursday of complications associated with gunshot wounds she received in the line of duty.
Bowden was shot three times in the neck and shoulder on Jan. 10. She remained in critical condition for four weeks.
MU GYMNASTS HONORED: As the first TV timeout was called in the second half, a large group of short women filed on to Norm Stewart Court.
The women made up the Missouri gymnastics team. The team was honored for its upset of No. 27 Illinois on Friday night.
The Tigers defeated the Fighting Illini 196.225-193.775.
FORMER DUKE STAR GETS BEHIND THE MIKE: Years after a tragic motorcycle accident ended his professional basketball career before it really started, Jason Williams finally returned to basketball as a color commentator.
Williams made his television debut Saturday for ABC. Before being drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 2002, Williams was a standout point guard at Snyder’s alma mater, Duke.
ABC is a good luck charm for the Tigers. Last year, Missouri defeated Oklahoma in overtime at Norman on ABC.