Nov. 22, 2012
PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas- (AP) - Laurence Bowers scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as No. 13 Missouri beat Stanford 78-70 in the first round of the Battle 4 Atlantis on Thursday.
Bowers, who had 13 points in the second half Thursday, has scored more points after halftime in every game this season for the Tigers (4-0). He came in averaging 15.5 points per game, 14.0 in the second half.
Missouri will face the winner of the first-round game between No. 2 Louisville and Northern Iowa in Friday's semifinals.
Phil Pressey had 18 points and eight assists for Missouri, which had just three field goals over the final 9:10 and they were all grouped in a 1:57 span starting with 2:12 to play. It didn't matter as the Tigers were 10 of 11 from the free throw line over that span. They were 22 for 25 for the game.
Chasson Randle had 22 points for the Cardinal (3-2), which has lost two straight after owning the nation's longest winning streak at eight games dating back to last year's NIT title run.
Dwight Powell notched his second double-double of the year, contributing 18 points and 10 rebounds in 34 minutes.
Stanford, which trailed by 12 points in the first half, stayed within reach in the second half and was down 72-68 with 1:15 left on a long jumper by John Gage, who chipped in with 10 points off the bench.
Pressey took over from there, scoring the Tigers' last four points and assisting on the two before that.
Alex Oriakhi, who played in this tournament last season with Connecticut, had 13 points for Missouri. Oriakhi transferred after the season and did not have sit out a season because Connecticut was put on probation.
Earnest Ross had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Tigers but he was 3 for 19 from the field and missed all five 3-point attempts.
Randle was coming off a 2-16 effort from 3-point range in the loss to Belmont and he was 1-6 from there against Missouri. The Cardinal was 6-26 from beyond the arc while Missouri was 4-19.
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NOTES: Stanford has lost back-to-back games for the first time since Feb. 4-9 of last year ... Chasson Randle notched his sixth career 20-point game ... Dwight Powell tallied his second double-double of the year and fifth of his career. Powell was 5-9 from the field and 6-6 from the foul line, making two three-pointers while chipping with three blocks ... John Gage scored in double figures for the first time this year and seventh of his career ... Stanford was playing on Thanksgiving for the first time in two years. The Cardinal's last victory on Turkey Day came back on Nov. 23, 2000, in the form of an 84-60 rout of Old Dominion at the Puerto Rico Shootout ... Christian Sanders made his first career start, filling in for Aaron Bright (sprained ankle) ... Robbie Lemons provided a surprise lift, scoring five points in 18 minutes off the bench to key Stanford's comeback. Lemons entered Thursday's game having scored only 11 points on 4-15 shooting in 25 career games as a reserve ... In eight career neutral site games, Chasson Randle has averaged 16.8 points while shooting 47.0 percent from the field, 41.8 percent from three-point territory and 82.2 percent from the foul line ... Stefan Nastic celebrated his birthday on Thursday ... Stanford has shot less than 38.0 percent from the field in three straight games ... Missouri held a 25-7 edge in second-chance points ... Stanford and Missouri were meeting for the first time on the hardwood.
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Stanford Head Coach Johnny Dawkins
"I thought it was a hard fought game. I give Missouri a lot of credit. They made a lot of plays when it counted - a lot of offensive rebound put packs, beat us to loose balls. They did a good job in those areas."
"I am proud of my guys. I thought we went out and competed well. We could have executed a little bit better. I thought defensively, we could have been better as well."
"Nineteen offensive rebounds are way too many to give up. A lot of them were us making a good play and didn't rotate as well as we needed to on the backside. We have to be more aware of those situations and look at making multiple plays in order to secure the ball."
Junior Dwight Powell
"It definitely was a physical game. We learned a lot from it. Those guys competed hard, especially offensively, and showed us that we have to have five guys rebound and we cannot allow them to bully us underneath like they did today. Something we can definitely improve on."
Missouri Head Coach Frank Haith
"Obviously, it was a great win for us. I thought it was a very physical game and thought we responded very well after the first part of the game. We had some guys make some big plays down the stretch. We are a different looking team than last team, so we weren't playing that way early on."
"We have to be rebounding and defense is a big part of who this team is. I thought we did that much better in the second half and were able to come out with a win."
"I thought we executed really good. We made big shots down the stretch. Defense executed and had some big stops. We aren't going to be fluid right now offensively, but that takes time. But we are going to be tough and that is what we are challenged to do."
Missouri Junior Phil Pressey
"You have to do what you have been doing since you were a young kid - just shoot your shot."
"When you have your big men make free throws, that is key. When Alex makes his free throws and your guards, that is a given - they have to make their free throws, overall that just helps you out."
Missouri Senior Laurence Bowers
"I thought we played well in the first half, but we knew we could do a lot better in the second. We knew Stanford wasn't going to go away without a fight. I thought we delivered in the second half and we maintained it throughout and it was a great win."
"I am definitely getting better day by day, both physically and mentally. Taking hard hits or anytime I end up on the ground that just builds my confidence that much more on my knee. I am very comfortable with Phil Pressey on the floor and think our chemistry is coming along greatly and with the other guys as well. I just have to get better with progression day by day."
"Second half is when you put the team away. On an individual standpoint, I would love to play better in the first half, but whenever I get the opportunity to step up for my team, that is what I am going to do. And if that is in the second half, I am going to try and continue to do that."