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Missouri basketball players have best academic record in 10 years

The No. 12 Tigers set a high mark with their academic accomplishments in the fall semester.

USA TODAY Sports

The Missouri basketball team finished the fall 2012 semester with the program's best academic record in a decade, the team announced on Friday:

"I'm so proud of our guys and their efforts in the classroom," head coach Frank Haith said. "We demand a lot from them throughout the year and they delivered in a big way, which deserves recognition. I also want to acknowledge Tami Chievous and our coaching staff. Both Tami and our coaches work with our guys every day to make sure they are up to date on their coursework, because it's not easy balancing class, practice, travel and competition. This is just a tremendous team accomplishment."

The team, which is ranked No. 12 nationally with a 9-1 record on the season, is currently on a five-game winning streak after an 84-61 loss to No. 2 Louisville on Nov. 23. The squad is led by Laurence Bowers, who has 16.3 points per game on top of 6.4 rebounds while shooting nearly 60 percent on the season. Point guard Phil Pressey has averaged nearly six assists per contest, while Alex Oriakhi leads the Tigers with 8.6 rebounds a game.

Bowers has already graduated with a bachelor's degree and is one semester away from completely a master's degree in Health Education & Promotion.

The Tigers take on Illinois at 5 p.m. CT on Dec. 22, with coverage on ESPN 2.