Missouri has braggin' rights once again. The Tigers beat Illinois on Wednesday night in St. Louis, 75-64, but the score isn't indicative of the type of game this was. The two were tied in the final minute but Mizzou scored eight points in nine seconds thanks to Laurence Bowers and an intentional foul.
Marcus Denmon added 15 for Mizzou and Bowers finished with 13 points and nine board. Justin Safford tallied 11 points while Michael Dixon returned from suspension to score 10 points and six assists coming off the bench.
"It felt amazing to come back in this type of atmosphere," Dixon said. "I've never lost to Illinois and I don't plan on losing to them ever."
Dixon was suspended last week for a violation of team rules. With Phil Pressey absent with a broken finger, Dixon's return came in handy. Missouri had five total players in double digits in what was truly a team effort. The Tigers have now won two in a row against Illinois after dropping nine in a row before that. This means that guys like Dixon, a sophomore, have never lost to Illinois.
Illinois head coach Bruce Weber didn't sound too happy in the post-game after one intentional foul late in the game.
"There's so many intentional fouls at the end of the game, it just puts everybody in a bind," Weber said. "He probably made the right call but it's not a good rule in my opinion. There's 1,000 of them in the game and they didn't call them."
Can't blame the refs without getting in trouble? Blame the rule.
Mizzou, ranked No. 9, moves to 11-1 on the season. Illinois, No. 21, drops their second consecutive game.