Texas Tech falls short against Missouri

Jordan Tolbert's absence in the second half because of foul trouble was costly for Texas Tech.

Tolbert, the Big 12 freshmen leader in rebounds per game (6.4) and field goal shooting (56.6 percent), could only watch as his Red Raiders struggled to come back from a seven-point halftime deficit and lose 63-50 to Missouri.

“Obviously it was too difficult because we didn't get it done,” Texas Tech coach Billy Gillispie said.

Tolbert tied his season low of four points on 2-of-4 shooting and four rebounds after getting called for his third and fourth fouls early in the second half. He also committed eight turnovers in his 16 minutes.

“He had a tough day today,” Gillispie said. “He got pushed around a little bit and didn't respond nearly as well as he needs to. But that's part of the education process for a freshman, especially when we don't have a whole lot other than him to help him inside.”

Jaye Crockett scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and Ty Nurse added 13 points, but Texas Tech (7-13, 0-8 Big 12) has lost its first eight conference games for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.

“I've always been proud of our guys, I love our guys,” Gillispie said. “But I hate losing. We have to do something about getting beat all the time.”

Kim English scored 19 points in the first half and Marcus Denmon had 13 after the break to help Missouri (19-2, 6-2) avoid a second straight upset.

Clark Lammert's 3-pointer off the glass at the shot clock buzzer with 2:36 to go cut a 15-point Texas Tech deficit to seven.

But the Tigers answered with six straight points to finish the game, including Ricardo Ratliffe's dunk in transition with a minute left after English blocked a shot and then saved the ball from going out of bounds.

English finished with 22 points, Denmon with 19 despite 4-for-15 shooting and Phil Pressey matched his career best with 12 assists.

Missouri remained unbeaten at home, three days after an upset at Oklahoma State. The Tigers' first 11 home victories had been by an average of 27 points.

“Their game plan was to take our paint production out and they did a nice job of that,” Missouri coach Frank Haith. “It was tough getting the ball inside to Ricardo but I'm proud of our guys adjusting, not getting frustrated. We had to be patient on both ends of the floor.”

English and Pressey had impressive totals at the half — English with four 3-pointers and 19 points and Pressey a heavy contributor without taking a shot, racking up seven assists and three steals.

English hit a pair of 3s to fuel a 10-0 opening run, but Missouri missed nine of its next 11 shots as Texas Tech rallied to tie it at 14. English scored nine points in the final 6 minutes, helping build an 11-point cushion before the Red Raiders closed the gap to seven at the break.

Tolbert picked up his third and fourth fouls in the first 1:39 of the second half, the latter a flagrant foul with Denmon hitting a pair from the free throw line to put Missouri up 35-24.

“We needed him out there,” Crockett said. “I was talking to him and telling him, 'be smart, be smart.' But you also have to be aggressive. So that's kind of difficult, trying to be aggressive and staying out of foul trouble.”

Heralded national football recruit Dorial Green-Beckham got a huge ovation when he arrived courtside just before game time, escorted by Missouri assistant coach Andy Hill. Fans later chanted “MIZ-DGB!” and Green-Beckham, a wide receiver from Springfield, watched the game from behind the Missouri bench.

The wooing continued when most of the football team was introduced during a break in the first half along with a recitation of the school's accomplishments under coach Gary Pinkel. Green-Beckham got a standing ovation on his way off the court, stopping to pose for a picture with Truman the Tiger, the school mascot.

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