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Missouri Loses In Final Seconds To New Rival Arkansas

A tough game for Pressey.

Score: Arkansas 73, Missouri 71

Star(s): Missouri:Keion Bell 25 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Blk. Arkansas:Marshawn Powell 24 Pts, 2 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Blk.

Story: In the first "rivalry game" against Arkansas, Missouri looked poised to pull out its second SEC road victory. Unfortunately the Tigers wasted a fantastic effort from redshirt senior guard Keion Bell who was perfect from the field in the first half and ended up with 25 points on 9/11 shooting to give the Tigers the halftime lead. The Tiger's made countless mistakes down the stretch and have to really look in the mirror to see where the blame lies. 

Boo's rained down on the Tigers the moment they all walked on to the court at Bud Walton arena in Fayetteville. Despite the warm welcome, Missouri was encouraging in the first half and Bell looked like the best player on the court. Junior point guard Phil Pressey was his usual inconsistent self with some great assists and confusing turnovers that left the Tigers offense in limbo without a clear direction. Bell continued his offensive dominance in the second half but had no help besides a solid effort by redshirt junior Earnest Ross who contributed 16 points.

The game tightened in the second half and former Missouri Head Coach Mike Anderson was the winner of halftime adjustment making. Arkansas came out physical and more composed than it had been in the first half and it showed as the Razorbacks gained the lead for the first time with 16:58 remaining in the game. 

Arkansas junior forward Marshawn Powell was dominant for the Razorbacks, scoring a team high 24 points while sophomore point guard BJ Young had 18 points to go along with two and-1 layups while being guarded by Bell. 

With the score 72-71 Arkansas, Pressey immediately turned the ball over after receiving a hand off from senior forward Laurence Bowers, which deflated Missouri's chances at winning the game. After one made free throw from Young the Tigers pushed the ball up the court only to see a missed desperation three from red shirt sophomore guard Jabari Brown.

The Tigers will be disappointed they let this opportunity slip away especially considering alum and current Pistons guard Kim English was in attendance. The camera caught English at one point his showing his disgust after an Arkansas three pointer. 

Missouri will face Florida at home Tuesday which will be an extremely important game in determining seeding for the NCAA tournament for both teams. Missouri will need a great effort from senior forward Alex Oriakhi and Bowers for the team to have a chance at what would be an upset due to how Missouri faired last time against the Gators in Gainesville.