Missouri pummels Ducks
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri basketball under Mike Anderson has never been about stars lighting it up. Anderson preaches defense, passing and balance to his players.
That philosophy was on display against Oregon on Saturday.
Missouri had six players score in double figures on its way to a 106-69 victory over the Ducks in the Big 12-Pac-10 Hardwood Series.
"That's why we are the ultimate team," Anderson said. "When you talk about highlights and moving the basketball, I thought you saw that on display tonight."
The Tigers (5-2) compiled 28 assists on 37 field goals.
"The way they shared the basketball, that's unbelievable," Oregon coach Ernie Kent said.
Marcus Denmon led Missouri with a career-high 17 points. Michael Dixon, Laurence Bowers, Kim English, Zaire Taylor and J.T. Tiller all had at least 10 points.
Missouri came limping into Saturday's game after losing to Richmond 59-52 in the championship game of the South Padre Invitational on Nov. 28 and at Vanderbilt 89-83 on Wednesday. It was the first time the Tigers lost consecutive games since the 2007-08 season.
A homecoming was all they needed to regain their shooting stroke.
In the two games at South Padre and the Vanderbilt loss, Missouri shot just 38 percent. On Saturday, it hit 58 percent of its shots, including 14 of 29 3-point attempts.
"Coach always says take the good shots, and those were shots that were available," Denmon said. "The way they play their defense, they kind of pack it in, so we wanted to take advantage of it."
It was Missouri's 41st straight non-conference victory at home. The Tigers are 34-0 in non-conference play at home under Anderson.
"You're always in your comfort zone when you go home, and we were hungry," Taylor said. "There's guys on this team, myself included, that have never been on a two-game losing streak."
The first half continued to be a nightmare for visiting teams at Mizzou Arena. The Ducks (4-3) shot just 24 percent before the break as Missouri used runs of 11-0 and 22-1 to race to a 53-24 halftime lead.
The Tigers have scored more than 50 points in the first half of each of their four home games this season.
"When you put yourself in a hole like that, its hard to come back," Kent said. "(Missouri) really rose to the occasion and played really, really well."
Oregon saw limited action from the program's all-time leading 3-point shooter, Tajuan Porter, because of an ankle injury he aggravated in the Ducks' Nov. 23 loss to Montana. Porter logged just six minutes and went scoreless on 0-of-2 shooting.
"I didn't think he was really in sync and really ready to play in this one," Kent said. "So we sat him down in the second half to just try and get him healthy."
With the loss, Oregon dropped to 0-4 all-time against Missouri and extended its road losing streak to 12. Sophomore guard Malcolm Armstead, making his third career start, led the Ducks with 12 points.