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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.

Kewps rely on defense

Rock Bridge scored an easy layup at the beginning of the game to take the lead.

That was the only time the Bruins led.

Records fall at Tiger Classic

The athletes were safe from the cold indoors, but the records were safe from no one.

Six fieldhouse records and one Missouri school record were broken at the Tiger Classic in the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse on Friday. Missouri hosted national power Nebraska, Indiana and Wichita State in the unscored meet.

MU loses despite North’s records

Strong individual showings and poor team results have been the norm for the Missouri men’s swimming and diving team this season.

In their final dual meet, the Tigers fell 166-129 to the Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday night at University Natatorium.

Lions no match for Tigers

The meet held as much drama as throwing a sacrificial lamb to a pack of well, Tigers.

Fourth-ranked Missouri taught the visiting Lindenwood Lions, ranked third in NAIA, what Division I wrestling was all about Friday. The Tigers outworked and outlasted Lindenwood to score seven falls in a 44-9 victory at Hearnes Center.

Tigers hope to get back on track

Six days ago, it seemed the Missouri men’s basketball team had finally begun to piece its season together.

The Tigers had put together three consecutive strong games, going 2-1 against Oklahoma, Texas and Nebraska. A trip to Colorado on Wednesday brought all of Missouri’s problems back to the forefront, resulting in an 83-70 loss. The Buffaloes outshot, outhustled, and outplayed the Tigers.

Tigers hitting in-state goals for top recruits

It happens every year. A football program will target top-flight players in recruiting, usually from its home state and inevitably, some of those players will choose to go elsewhere.

There is no single reason these players pass on their home schools. Some athletes want to get away from home, the prestige and talent at major programs draw others and some want a better chance to play right away.

Spates making his mark

Senior Jeremy Spates is doing his best to join the century club.

No, not that one.

Bruins win despite coach’s absence

Rock Bridge overcame adversity to earn a difficult win against Moberly.

Bruins coach John Kopnisky was not there to see his lower weights propel the team to a 37-31 victory Thursday at Rock Bridge.

Tigers know they must win at home

Missouri can find many positives in its win against No. 20 Oklahoma on Wednesday, but perhaps the Tigers’ biggest accomplishment was earning its first home win in Big 12 Conference play.

It is a consensus among Big 12 coaches that the key to success is winning at home, but Missouri failed to do that against Kansas on Jan. 10, and Nebraska on Jan. 14.

Hitting the books

When the five seniors on Missouri men’s swimming and diving team were named to the Academic All-Big 12 Conference team last year, it was no surprise to coach Brain Hoffer.

“We have a couple of guys that if they don’t make a 4.0 (grade point average) we’re surprised,” Hoffer said. “They’re a lot more than just swimmers.”

Tigers focus on long-term goals

Winning was one of the last things on Missouri track coach Rick McGuire’s mind when his team hosted Kansas and Kansas State last weekend.

Although Missouri finished third, McGuire said his team could have won if he had used some of his injured or tired athletes.

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