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None better than Big 12

Missouri coach Brian Smith said he is confident his wrestling team can beat the best teams in the nation. To win the Big 12 Conference Tournament, it’s going to have to.

Smith said he thinks this season’s Big 12 Tournament could be the toughest to date. The five teams in the conference will meet Saturday at Iowa State’s Hilton Coliseum.

Seniors have led Missouri into top 20

Four years ago, Missouri gymnastics was a weak program that had competed in one regional meet since 1994.

This season, behind a strong senior class entering its final home meet, the No. 18 Tigers are a threat to post a strong regional performance and could finish high enough to qualify for the national finals for the first time since 1981.

Miscues too costly for Tigers

LUBBOCK, Texas – Despite all of Missouri’s maturation, Wednesday’s game at Texas Tech, in some ways, resembled the losing pattern of late December.

In their 87-76 loss at the United Spirit Arena, the Tigers committed 16 turnovers. Those turnovers allowed Texas Tech to stay with the Tigers and eventually take control. The Red Raiders turned the Tigers’ turnovers into 27 points.

Bolerjack driven to do better

Jodi Bolerjack wasn’t 100 percent and it bugged her.

It was the 2003 Class 5 quarterfinals against Kickapoo. It was the biggest game she had played in since returning from anterior cruciate ligament injury on her left knee.

Tigers’ backfield will have new look

Calling Marcus Woods quick is like calling Bill Gates rich.

Woods put on a show as one of the return men on a punt coverage drill during the Missouri football team’s first spring practice Thursday at Dan Devine Pavilion.

Hearnes’ legacy beyond building

Gov. Warren Hearnes made many contributions to education, but the building Missouri athletics has called home for the past 32 years is his best-known contribution.

In 1966, Hearnes went to see Missouri play football at the University of Illinois. The trip changed Missouri athletics. After lunch with Illinois chancellor George Russell, who became Missouri’s university president, they went to see Illinois’ new basketball arena, Assembly Hall. Hearnes knew right away that it was what Missouri needed.

Missouri fouls up chance for victory

LUBBOCK, Texas – Texas Tech didn’t need any help getting more points, but Missouri gave it an assist anyway.

The Red Raiders benefited greatly from converting on 24-of-29 trips to the foul line in their 87-76 win Wednesday in the United Spirit Arena.

Tigers’ defense falters in 2nd half

LUBBOCK, Texas — All it takes is a split-second lapse, a loss of focus on defense that allows the opponent to score.

All teams experience those mistakes, but rarely does one commit them consistently for more than nine minutes.

Johnson biggest of MU’s big men

LUBBOCK, Texas — Before the season, Arthur Johnson made it a goal to become Missouri’s best big man.

Johnson took another step to taking that title. After he grabbed eight rebounds at Texas Tech on Wednesday night, Johnson passed former MU great Doug Smith, a fellow Detroit native, for the school mark. Johnson has 1,554 rebounds, one more than Smith.

Missouri snaps drought in Texas

Missouri picked the best time to break a streak.

Texas A&M’s defense tried to keep the score low, but it wasn’t enough as the MU women’s basketball team won 61-60 on Wednesday in College Station, Texas, in a Big 12 Conference game.

Hickman moves on

WASHINGTON, Mo. — Lauren Harris called it slumpy. Kaela Rorvig was at a loss for words.

Whatever it was, it wasn’t the same Hickman team that won the Class 5 District 10 championship. It wasn’t as intense. It wasn’t as crisp. In the end, it didn’t matter.

Rebuilding line key for Tigers

This is the environment in which Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel wants to develop young players.

Coming off an 8-5 season that included a trip to the Independence Bowl, Pinkel said the atmosphere of the team’s off-season player-development program was significantly improved.

Rutherford relished role with MU

Joann Rutherford’s life is coming full circle.

Rutherford guided the Missouri women’s basketball program from its infancy in 1975 and made it a contender in the Big Eight Conference.

MU ends homestand with victory

Columbia proved to be as friendly to the Missouri baseball team as the road.

Missouri closed its five-game homestand Wednesday with an 8-2 win against Western Illinois. The Tigers (10-2) finished their first games at Taylor Stadium this season on a four-game winning streak.

Trademark fire missing from Kewps in first half

WASHINGTON, Mo. — The Kewpies had to take a step back to see the way to the next round of the state playoffs.

Hickman took off its press in the second half and cruised to a 67-44 victory against Francis Howell in the sectional round of the playoffs Wednesday at Borgia High.

Official scorers offer fond Hearnes memories

Most Missouri basketball fans would make quite a sacrifice to have a courtside seat at Missouri’s final regular-season game at Hearnes Center on Sunday.

The seven-person official scoring crew working at the Missouri and Kansas game will not only have what Mike Nichols calls the “best seats in the house’’ at the scorers’ table, but it also will get paid to be involved in the action.

Fast finish for Cougars

Players aren’t normally diving for loose balls at halftime, but Columbia College needed an energy boost after a lackadaisical start Tuesday night.

The Cougars beat Harris-Stowe State 91-56 in the first round of the American Midwest Conference women’s basketball tournament at The Arena of Southwell Complex.

Millions more for MU

MU’s athletic department announced Tuesday that it received a $10 million gift to renovate facilities and fund student scholarships. The gift came from the Kansas City Sports Trust, a group of anonymous donors whose purpose is to support MU’s athletic program.

“This is a great day for the Tigers,” Mike Alden, MU director of athletics, said at a press conference in the Reynolds Alumni Center.

Similar situation, different direction

When Missouri visits Texas Tech at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock tonight, it might find something familiar.

If the Tigers squint hard enough, they might see themselves reflected in the Red Raiders. When Texas Tech hosts Missouri at 6:30 p.m., both teams will fight to earn a game that is vital to their postseason hopes.

Ehlers blasts Tigers past Leathernecks

Late arrivals to Taylor Stadium missed the majority of the offense Tuesday night. Cody Ehlers’ two-run home run in the first inning was the difference as the Tigers defeated Western Illinois 2-1.

With two outs, Ehlers hit a ball to right field that easily cleared the fence and drove in Zane Taylor, who led off with a single. It was Ehlers’ third home run of the season.

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