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Monday, July 28, 2014
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Missouri notches third win of Europe tour

On the last day of Missouri's trip through Belgium, the Tigers led host the host Gent Dragons the entire time, overpowering them 72-56.

All four starters for the visitors notched double-figures in the win, with senior forward transfer Alex Oriakhi, a transfer from Connecticut, leading the team with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting.

“Alex was big tonight and we could kind of see this coming,” coach Frank Haith said in a news release. “We were just going to stay positive with him and keep giving him the opportunity to make plays in the low-block. Alex was getting good position, but he was so anxious once he caught the basketball. Tonight he was assertive and really attacked the rim.” Missouri grew an eight-point lead only four minutes into the game, leading the Dragons 10-2. The Tigers went quiet for the next four minutes, letting the Dragons pull within a point of the lead, 12-11. Despite eight turnovers in the opening quarter, Missouri closed with a six-point lead, 17-11.

Haith's team allowed Gent within one-point of the lead early in the second quarter. That would be the closest the team would get. Keion Bell, a senior transfer from Pepperdine, went on to score the next six for Missouri propelling him into double-figures.

In 27 minutes of play, Bell produced 12 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.

“Keion played within himself tonight,” Haith said in the release. “He was under control and very patient. He used the dribble drive to attack the rim and he found guys for open looks. He could have had about three or four more assists, but we missed some perimeter jumpers early.” Out of half-time, the Tigers led 33-28. They stormed out of the locker room for a 10-0 run to begin the third quarter. Missouri went on to take control of the game, leading 19 deep into the fourth quarter.

It was sophomore transfer Jabari Brown who led the charge for the Tigers in the quarter. He scored 12 points in the frame, which included two three-pointers and a dunk.

On 5-of-6 shooting, the game marked the end of a shooting slump for the Oregon transfer.

“It felt good getting some shots to fall,” Brown said in the release. “I feel like I am shooting the ball well, but they weren’t going down. Sometimes you just need a bucket in transition to see the ball go through the rim and then you can relax a little bit. We got the tempo going in the fourth quarter and it was easier to get lost in transition. Guys found me and had the confidence to give me the ball.”

Earnest Ross, a junior Auburn transfer, played all but one minute against Gent with 39. Ross was the only starter not in double figures with four, but he led the team with nine boards. Seniors Tony Criswell and Michael Dixon also made it into double-figures.

Earning its third win on its 10-day, five-game trip in Europe, Misssouri will play a final game on Friday against Cergy.

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