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Victories needed to secure NCAA bid

Before and during Missouri’s Big 12 Conference game at Kansas on Monday night, Jayhawks supporters repeatedly chanted “N-I-T” at the Tigers.

The fans’ suggestions that the Tigers belong in the National Invitational Tournament aren’t necessarily correct, even considering how bleak things appear for the Tigers (9-9, 4-4 Big 12 Conference). History indicates a hot finish could vault the Tigers into the NCAA Tournament. With nine losses, though, it won’t be easy.

Repeat makes Kewps’ eyes widen

To experience a dreamlike end to its season, the Hickman wrestling team is cutting back on sleep.

In addition to their usual afternoon practice, the Kewpies have added a session starting at 6 a.m. in preparation for the Class 3 District 5 tournament at Francis Howell High on Saturday.

Surprise move costs Bruins

Nick Fuchs didn’t expect to wrestle, but his match decided the outcome.

Fuchs, of Rock Bridge, expected a bye at heavyweight, but in a last-second move, Smith-Cotton coach Chad Hopkins moved Jimmy Brown from 215 to heavyweight.

Defense carries Kewpies

It took a while for the Smith-Cotton Tigers to score Tuesday night.

Once they scored they found themselves too far behind to catch Hickman, which defeated the Tigers 66-38 at Hickman.

Shooting troubles plaguing Missouri

Kansas coach Bill Self offered a simple, yet thoughtful suggestion Monday night that could lead to many victories this season.

“There are going to be nights when we don’t shoot the ball well,” Self said. “In those games, we have to play great defensively.”

Temple finds his sanctuary on field

KANSAS CITY — Tony Temple’s perfect world isn’t hard to find.

Instead of all of the interviews, photo shoots and unrealistic expectations, Temple pictures a football field. The field is his escape, 100 yards of green solitude with freshly painted white lines.

Cougars gain first with win

The Columbia College women’s basketball team defeated No. 18 McKendree College 79-75 on Tuesday night in Lebanon, Ill., in an American Midwest Conference game. The Cougars took over first place in the AMC.

Missouri strategy fizzles

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Missouri appeared to have the perfect plan and had it working.

Pound the ball to Arthur Johnson and Travon Bryant, get the big men of No. 20 Kansas in foul trouble and hold down forward Wayne Simien.

Recruits stir talk of future potential

The question can’t be answered now. It won’t be answered next year or the year after.

Five years is probably the earliest anyone can answer the most asked question about Missouri football’s 2004 recruiting class: Is it MU’s best?

Simien sparks Kansas

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Coaches love to emphasize how important it is to get the ball inside. Moving the ball to the big men often leads to high-percentage shots, open looks at 3-pointers and foul trouble for the opponent.

Each team followed that formula in one half of Missouri’s 65-56 loss at No. 20 Kansas on Monday night. Missouri’s big men dominated the first half, allowing the Jayhawks to hold a two-point lead at halftime.

Pulley stays behind after suspension

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Missouri junior point guard Randy Pulley, suspended indefinitely Saturday after missing two practices last week, did not make the trip to Lawrence.

A Missouri spokesman said the team has had contact with him since Saturday’s game, which he did not attend.

Carolina booted

HOUSTON — The New England Patriots have Adam Vinatieri’s foot to thank for a Super Bowl victory.

Vinatieri gave New England its second NFL championship in three seasons with a 41-yard field goal with 4 seconds left for a thrilling 32-29 victory against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday night.

Pressure mounts on Smith’s successors

It wasn’t so long ago that Brad Smith was a relative unknown. In two years, he went from an anonymous name on a recruiting list to one of the most talented dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation.

His future replacements don’t have the luxury of limited expectations. For Chase Patton and Darrell Jackson, the pressure to perform and build on Smith’s performance will be there from day one.

Tigers seek solace vs. Jayhawks

Anger, frustration and disappointment have plagued Missouri’s season, but much of that could be forgotten with a win tonight.

That’s when the Tigers (9-8, 4-3 Big 12 Conference) travel to Kansas for their first meeting of the season with the rival Jayhawks at 8 p.m.

Hot, hurt hand

Thomas Gardner is so confident in his shot that having 10 healthy fingers is unnecessary.

After driving to the basket and colliding with Kansas State forward Justin Williams in the first half Saturday, Gardner flipped the ball into the basket and drew the foul. He also jammed the ring finger on his left, nonshooting hand, and dislocated it.

MU makes point, often 3 at a time

When it comes to 3-point shooting, Missouri won’t let itself get discouraged easily.

The Tigers displayed their 3-point resolve in their 62-53 victory against Kansas State on Saturday at Hearnes Center.

“This team feels, even though we shot badly in the first half, that doesn’t mean we’re going into the second half like ‘Hey, let’s not shoot,’” junior guard Jason Conley said. “We have such good shooters that we’re not going to let that slow us down.”

Tigers throw away chance to win

Although defense dominated most of the game between Missouri and Colorado on Saturday, offensive execution was the deciding factor.

Missouri’s seniors committed five costly turnovers in the final minutes, and No. 11 Colorado executed perfectly on its final possession and escaped with a 68-66 Big 12 Conference win in front of 7,154 at Hearnes Center, the fourth-largest MU women’s basketball crowd.

Fisher’s injury hurts Missouri

Injuries continue to come at inopportune times for Missouri.

For the second time in four days, the MU women’s basketball team tried to beat a ranked opponent, but failed, losing 68-66 to No. 11 Colorado on Saturday at Hearnes Center.

Tigers suspend Pulley

Missouri point guard Randy Pulley’s minutes have been dwindling in the Tigers’ past two games.

On Saturday, Pulley did not even make it to the game.

Rock Bridge fades in second half

After Saturday’s game, Rock Bridge coach Bob Plourde walked straight from the postgame locker room to his office. He wasn’t smiling. He wasn’t talking. His face was red and his steps were brisk.

Plourde was frustrated and he had every right to be. His team was sluggish and sloppy in the second half during a 56-34 loss against Vashon at Rock Bridge.

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