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Tigers eager to begin new season

The wait is almost over.

After 42 days of practice, two scrimmages and two exhibitions, the Missouri men’s basketball team hasn’t played a game that matters. That changes Saturday when the No. 5 Tigers face Oakland University at 5 p.m. in Rochester, Mich.

ISU not what it used to be

The Iowa State Cyclones are hoping someone will look past them.

When Iowa State (2-9, 0-7 Big 12 Conference) plays Missouri at noon Saturday at Memorial Stadium, it will try to snap a nine-game losing streak. The Cyclones won their first two games against Northern Iowa and Ohio, and it is an understatement to say they have struggled since.

Crown on Tigers’ wish list

Missouri coach Cindy Stein likes to win, especially championships.

That is what Missouri will try to do starting today at the Oneida Bingo and Casino Holiday Tournament in Green Bay, Wis.

Ballard coming into own

Khamari Ballard’s basketball career has been a series of adjustments.

He was enrolled in four colleges before signing with Columbia College as a junior.

Bound for home

For most of the Missouri basketball team and its fans, the Tigers’ road to their season-opening game against Oakland University on Saturday is a long and unfamiliar one.

The 675 miles from Hearnes Center to Auburn Hills, Mich., feels like home to seniors and Detroit natives Rickey Paulding and Arthur Johnson.

Second half sinks Southern

What a difference a half can make.

The Missouri women’s basketball team defeated Southern 79-43 on Wednesday at Hearnes Center.

Cooking not on Tigers’ menu

There are few culinary experts on the Missouri football team. Relatives who usually cook Thanksgiving dinner for the players will have an easier time this year, though.

The team will practice this morning in preparation for its game against Iowa State on Saturday. Afterwards, the team will eat together in the press box around 1 p.m. Unless their family lives near Columbia, players will not be able to go home for Thanksgiving.

Gatorade names QB Patton state’s best

The season is over, but the accolades keep rolling in for Chase Patton.

Gatorade has named Patton, Rock Bridge’s standout quarterback, the Missouri High School Boys’ Football Player of the Year.

Surprising turn to historic run

Zack Abron sounds like a broken record. Fittingly, that suits the tailback who has made a habit of breaking Missouri football records.

Abron, who has broken the career scoring and touchdown records, enters Saturday’s game against Iowa State on the verge of another piece of MU history.

The Big 20

Missouri looks to build for NCAAs

Although the Missouri women’s basketball team has reached the postseason each of the past four years, its glass seems half full.

Coach Cindy Stein led Missouri to the second round of the WNIT in March 2000, its first postseason appearance in six years. The Tigers then made their magical run to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament the next year and looked like a program on the rise.

Contract sign of Pinkel’s resolve

Prolonging his “career commitment,” Missouri coach Gary Pinkel signed a contract Friday that will keep him at MU through 2008.

The contract guarantees Pinkel $1.07 million per year. The figure combines a base salary of $250,000 and $820,000 in supplemental money.

Home grown

On the basketball court, Missouri has undoubtedly dominated the majority of the state’s headlines. As a result of in-state recruiting successes in the past three years, though, the No. 5 Tigers might also have become the dominant recruiter in Missouri.

8-man big deal in small towns

ST. JOSEPH — Mitchell Scarbrough was tired. The rest of his team was celebrating after winning a state championship, and Scarbrough was joining it, but he was a step behind the rest of the team.

A mixture of sweat and rain was causing his eye black to run down his face, bruises on his arms were starting to show and he was walking with a slight limp. He wasn’t complaining. When you’re the team’s starting quarterback, safety, punter and leading rusher, you have an excuse to be tired.

Bales leads Tigers to 12th at NCAA meet

Amanda Bales led the way to Missouri’s best cross country finish since 1984.

Bales earned All-American honors by finishing 23rd at the NCAA Cross Country Championships in Waterloo, Iowa, on Monday. The Tigers finished 12th for their best finish since 1984, when they were seventh.

Defeat doesn’t destroy Tigers

Maybe Missouri went temporarily crazy, or maybe it realized that losing to red-hot Kansas State wasn’t that bad. Either way, as the Tigers prepared to leave KSU Stadium after losing 24-14 on Saturday, they had a different demeanor than after their other losses.

Players weren’t embarrassed as they were at Kansas, or in disbelief as they were at Colorado. There was no near-immediate acceptance, as there was after Oklahoma.

Tigers tangle with OSU again

Missouri wrestlers dominated the semifinal rounds of the Missouri Open on Sunday, but familiar competition stopped them in the finals.

About 400 wrestlers from more than 20 teams competed on 12 mats at the fourth annual tournament at the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse. Five Tigers wrestlers reached the finals, the most from any team. Only one gained a title, though, with two falling in their finals to wrestlers from Oklahoma State.

A new translation

Just ask Missouri freshman Linas Kleiza. He will tell you that he is an emotional player who relies on passion on the court.

“Oh, I definitely am emotional,” he said. “That’s what gets me going out there.”

Stein gets 150th win in season opener

PEORIA, Ill. — Career games by Megan Roney and LaToya Bond made it a happy homecoming for Missouri coach Cindy Stein on Sunday.

Stein, a native of Peoria, Ill., earned her 150th career win with Missouri’s 77-51 season-opening victory against Bradley at Robertson Field House.

NCAA race next step for Bales

Even after winning the NCAA Midwest Regional women’s cross country meet, Missouri sophomore Amanda Bales said she isn’t depending on a victory in her next race.

“I don’t ever go into a race expecting to do well,” Bales said, “but I like to finish it knowing that I left everything out there on the course.”

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