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Archive for Thursday, March 14, 2002

Missouri 93, Miami 80

March 14, 2002

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— Clarence Gilbert and the Missouri Tigers regained their early season form at just the right time.

Looking once more like a team that opened 9-0 and climbed to No. 2 in the rankings, the Tigers woke up early, scored the first 12 points Thursday and upset No. 5-seeded Miami 93-80.

Missouri (22-11), seeded 12th in the West Regional, seemed to relish the 10:40 a.m. start. They got a 3-pointer from Ricky Paulding and five straight points from Gilbert in the game-starting run. Gilbert finished with 20 points.

The Hurricanes (24-8) slumbered their way out of the tournament. Miami threw the ball away three times in the first three minutes, lost most of the battles for loose balls and got its first score on a three-point play by John Salmons with 16:51 remaining in the first half.

Missouri's starters all scored in double figures, with Paulding getting 16 points. Travon Bryant had 10 points and 11 rebounds.

The closest the Hurricanes came was 23-18 with 9:50 left in the first half on a dunk by Darius Rice. Missouri's biggest lead was 81-64 with 4:47 left on Paulding's 3-pointer with 4:47 left.

Missouri, which didn't get a single vote in the final Associated Press poll of the season, beat Miami without much help from leading scorer Kareem Rush.

Rush, averaging 20 points, scored just two in the first half, although he did finish with 15.

Darius Rice and Elton Tyler led Miami with 17 points each.

After its nine-game winning streak to start the season, Missouri lost four of its next six and steadily dropped in the polls. Coach Quin Snyder said Wednesday the Tigers never deserved that No. 2 ranking and got better once they realized it.

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