• Key play: One sequence in particular displayed the good and bad of junior point guard Phil Pressey. Pressey attempted an entry pass, only to see it get swatted back toward him, but he quickly recovered and threw a one-handed bullet to Tony Criswell for a layup that made the score 15-9. On MU’s next possession, he followed that up by delivering an errant pass in transition that resulted in a turnover.
• Key stat: Missouri showed better ball movement early, racking up nine first-half assists to Auburn’s three.
• Key play: With 15 minutes left, Pressey delivered an on-the-money alley-oop pass to Alex Oriakhi, who slammed it down to give MU a 56-42 lead. It was the highlight of a critical 16-4 run that allowed Missouri to pull away.
• Key stat: Missouri went 25 of 33 from the free-throw line for the game, while Auburn went 32 of 36.
Oriakhi hits 1,000
With his 11-point outing, Missouri senior forward Alex Oriakhi surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career on Saturday.
Oriakhi, who transferred from Connecticut last fall, said he was aware he was closing in on the record.
“Yeah, I was told a week ago,” he said. “When they announced it (Saturday), it was definitely a great feeling … when you have your teammates supporting you, it’s even better, so it’s just a blessing. I’m happy I’m going to be able to end my career as a Tiger.”
• Missouri coach Frank Haith noted that Saturday’s game marked only the third time all season the Tigers have had their full team together. And he was optimistic Thursday’s road test against Texas A&M will be the fourth, though Criswell seemed to aggravate his injured left hand on Saturday.
“Well, we put him back in the game, so I think he’s fine,” Haith said of Criswell, who wears a cast on his hand because of a broken middle finger. “He tweaked it a little, tried to take a charge and fell on it, but he’s fine.”
| Terez A. Paylor, email@example.com