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Unrau not only Tiger to shine

Evan Unrau is undoubtedly the centerpiece of the Missouri women’s basketball team, but this season she is getting help from her teammates.

Whether it’s forward Stretch James dominating the post, point guard LaToya Bond creating off the dribble or shooting guard Tracy Lozier making 3-pointers, Unrau can expect someone to step up today when Missouri plays at St. Louis at 2 p.m. at the Bauman-Eberhardt Center.

Intensity returns

A statistic that won’t show up in too many box scores but will make Missouri coach Quin Snyder smile reads: Travon Bryant, two 5-second violations forced.

It was that type of effort and energy that propelled Bryant and the Tigers to a 76-56 win against Iowa on Saturday at Hearnes Center. The win stops the Tigers’ three-game losing streak, a stretch filled with inconsistent efforts.

Different lineup lifts Missouri

When Missouri set up for Saturday’s tip-off against Iowa, 13,611 fans did a doubletake.

Rickey Paulding, Travon Bryant and Jimmy McKinney started for the ninth straight game. Sophomore Kevin Young and freshman Thomas Gardner were the Tigers drawing befuddled stares.

Guard play keys victory

Finding a consistent point guard has been a focus of the Missouri coaching staff early this season. Lacking a steady performer there, the offense had been inconsistent and often relied on one player to take control of the game.

The Tigers are beginning to find what they had been missing: Jimmy McKinney and Randy Pulley combined for six assists and no turnovers in Missouri’s 76-56 win against Iowa on Saturday.

Career scoring high helps Saxon earn MVP

In a game with few fouls, it’s hard to imagine someone nicknamed “Slinky” dominating, but that’s exactly what Nahowan Saxon did on Saturday night.

Saxon was named the Coaches vs. Cancer Holiday Classic men’s Most Valuable Player after Columbia College’s 61-50 win against Brescia (Ky.) at the Arena of Southwell Complex. Saxon scored a career-high 27 points on 11-of-14 shooting. He also made all five of his field goals in Friday’s 75-47 victory against St. Mary (Kan.).

Shots fall for Bruins vs. Tigers

Rock Bridge’s used accurate 3-point shooting to overcome a larger Oakville team Saturday in the first game of the 2004 MFA Oil Break Time Shootout.

The Bruins gained the early lead on a Demond Thorpe 3-pointer about a minute in and held onto it for another 31 minutes to defeat the Tigers 57-53 at Hearnes Center.

UM board president asked for challenge

KANSAS CITY— Mary James secured her seat on the University of Missouri’s Board of Curators in the simplest way possible: She asked to serve, and her wish was granted.

“I had always done public service work in my community — park board and athletic booster club. I’d always raised money here in town,” James said. “This is sort of an extension of all of that,” but it’s “the big time.”

After a year, 700 people use ARC daily

Columbia’s Activity & Recreation Center has been open for a year now, and those running it couldn’t be happier.

“I think the ARC has lived up to — if not exceeded — most of the expectations the community had for it,” said Gary Ristow, recreation services manager for Columbia Parks and Recreation.

A change in the city’s Paratransit system makes Wanda Avery feel she has been left out in the cold

Wanda Avery turns over her hand — a hand with long, graceful fingers and trim, rounded nails — to show the tight puckered skin of her palm.

Rheumatoid arthritis forces her fingertips toward her wrists. She can hardly use her hands, even to hold a cup of coffee.

Cattle producers ride out scare

Gary Hudson has raised cattle in Columbia for about 40 years. Even in retirement, Hudson keeps about 35 cows and also raises heifers to sell every year.

Hudson believes consumers still have a hunger for beef, despite concerns raised by the recent case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy — also known as mad cow disease — reported in Washington. Hudson was among a standing-room only crowd of local farmers and cattle producers at Thursday’s auction at Callaway Livestock Center, east of Kingdom City.

Where’s the beef — Missouri or Kansas?

No one disputes that Texas raises more cattle and produces more beef than any other state.

But who is No. 2?

Some choose chicken, but steak remains a staple

A single case of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy — or mad cow disease — has raised concerns about the safety of the country’s beef supply here and abroad.

In the wake of the BSE report, involving a dairy cow in Washington, the largest foreign buyers of American beef — Mexico, Japan and South Korea — have banned imports.

Tim and Terry replace Jill and Shirley as MU’s mules

COLUMBIA— Two rawboned 10-year-olds from outside Springfield have been chosen to represent the University of Missouri-Columbia at events ranging from the governor’s inauguration to the State Fair.

Tim and Terry are replacing Jill and Shirley as the university’s mule team.

Shreveport trip turns into flood

I haven’t written about any of our RV excursions lately because the last few trips while fun were uneventful. Translation: too boring to talk about. However, as I write this column I am on the trip from hell.

My husband and I decided that we would go to MU’s Independence Bowl game. (Because we haven’t had a bowl game in years and we are getting older, we seized the opportunity, not knowing when the next post-season foray would occur.)

A passion for pulling

Exhaust hangs thick below the lights in the arena at the Boone County Fairgrounds as two John Deere tractors groom the arena’s dirt track.

Roger McKinney, Jr., 33, paces the sidelines of the 200-foot track, weaving between the hundreds of people that are waiting for the next competitor. Some wear earplugs, but most don’t.

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