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Tough schedule assists Cougars

Recently, NCAA men’s basketball teams such as St. Joseph’s and Gonzaga have improved the strength of their nonconference schedules to compensate for their relatively weak conferences.

The Columbia College women’s basketball team used a similar strategy this season. The No. 17 Cougars (27-7) have dominated the American Midwest Conference in the program’s three-year history but lost in the first round of the NAIA Championship Tournament in 2002 and 2003.

Centralia seeks another championship

Adam Hinspeter and Centralia are after another title.

Four months after he led the Panthers to the Class 2 football title as a quarterback, Hinspeter will try to earn a state basketball title as a guard.

Tigers expect success

Before every wrestling tournament Missouri coach Brian Smith does a little shopping.

After he gets a shopping list, Smith buys numerous items for his team. The list usually includes bananas, power bars and Jeremy Spates’ cinnamon Pop-Tarts.

Roark to shine in Las Vegas

Soccer is not exactly the game that made Las Vegas famous.

For Rock Bridge’s Emily Roark and some of Missouri’s other top high school soccer players, though, soccer will be the main attraction to their visit there this weekend.

NIT-MARE

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Missouri, as it had all season, found itself in a position to win. Similar to a lot of games, it slipped away.

Michigan, playing without its leading scorer, scrapped its way to a 65-64 win against Missouri in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament on Tuesday at Crisler Arena.

Clemons repeats he took money

Ricky Clemons, a former Missouri basketball player, reaffirmed on an HBO show Tuesday night that while playing for the Tigers, he and two former teammates received cash from coaches Quin Snyder and Tony Harvey.

“I never got more than $500 at a time,” Clem-ons said in an interview with James Brown, a correspondent for HBO’s Real Sports. “I never kept up with it. I just received the money.”

No worries with Askren

Ben Askren’s jovial attitude makes him lethal on the mat.

Askren, a redshirt freshman ranked fifth in the nation at 174 pounds, is known as the clown of the Missouri wrestling team. Askren said his lightheartedness helps him relax before matches.

Detroit duo disappointed in finale

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Less than an hour’s drive from where two of Missouri’s brightest stars set out for Columbia with college basketball dreams spinning in their 18-year-old heads, Rickey Paulding’s and Arthur Johnson’s careers ended as a nightmare.

Johnson topped off his game-high 26 points with a basket that pulled the Tigers within 65-64 of Michigan with one-tenth of a second left to play, but time had run out on the Tigers in the first-round game of the National Invitation Tournament.

Brutal Big 12 schedule boosts Tigers

Finishing below .500 in conference play normally ruins a team’s NCAA Tournament hopes.

For Missouri, going 7-9 in the Big 12 Conference and finishing in a three-way tie for seventh are main reasons it is heading to Tempe, Ariz., to face Stanford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

Horton gives MU no brotherly love

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Missouri fans are expecting a significant contribution from 2004 recruit Jason Horton next season.

Horton, a point guard from Cedar Hill, Texas, is touted as a true point, a player who can run the offense and shoot from outside. Horton led Cedar Hill High to a second-place finish in Texas’ Class 5A state tournament last weekend and will likely arrive in Columbia as the Tigers’ best point guard in August.

Masterson masters life behind plate

When Missouri was scrambling for a catcher, freshman Kathy Masterson was looking for a position.

She found it behind the plate.

Boone gets Big 12 honor after strong weekend

Missouri right fielder James Boone was named the Big 12 Conference Player of the Week on Tuesday.

Boone, a sophomore, went 10-for-15 and had a pair of doubles at the Easton/USA Challenge last weekend. Boone is batting .383 and has 11 RBIs.

Familiar ground greets Tigers

Missouri has come full circle.

After beginning its regular season with a reunion in Michigan, it will have another to begin its postseason.

So Good It’s Scary

Tyler Hansbrough doesn’t say much, but then, he doesn’t have to. His game speaks volumes.

The shrill sounds of Hansbrough’s talent reach a fever pitch as he scores at will in the post, rips down rebounds like a hungry beast and swats shots away with the greatest of ease. It is that kind of talent that has made Hansbrough become Poplar Bluff’s all-time leading scorer and the No. 2 junior in the nation according to Rivals.com.

Perkins, Bond key for Tigers

Missouri needs its point players to produce if it wants to win.

Guards MyEsha Perkins and LaToya Bond are performing well for the Missouri women’s basketball team.

Colorado not pleased with NCAA selections

Colorado’s Ricardo Patton, the coach of one of three Big 12 Conference bubble teams not invited to the NCAA Tournament, spoke about his displeasure in Monday’s Big 12 conference call.

“We certainly have a great deal of regret that we weren’t selected,” Patton said. “I will always believe that the fourth-best team in the Big 12 is worthy of an NCAA bid.”

Harrington adjusts to move

When Dedrick Harrington was recruited, he knew it was possibility.

He had the framework.

Late surge lands Tigers berth

The wait is over and Missouri’s mission is accomplished.

What seemed almost impossible after the Missouri’s 0-4 start in the Big 12 Conference became reality Sunday when Missouri earned a trip to the NCAA Tournament.

MU women seeded in NCAA

Spring in Arizona is not just for baseball anymore.

The Missouri women’s basketball team is heading to Tempe, Ariz., to take on Stanford on Saturday in the first round of the women’s NCAA tournament.

NIT not invite Missouri wanted

After a disappointing season that ended with a 16-13 record, Missouri found itself outside of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five years and took what remained.

The Tigers are one of five Big 12 Conference teams to accept a bid to the National Invitation Tournament, the postseason tournament that invites teams denied a trip to the NCAA Tournament, on Sunday. Missouri will face Michigan in the first round at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Ann Arbor, Mich.

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