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Thursday, July 24, 2014
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Late charge gives Missouri final win of Europe trip

In the final contest of its 10-day Europe tour, the Missouri men’s basketball team had a fourth quarter surge that was enough to top Cergy 81-61 in Paris Friday.

The Tigers trailed 53-51 at one point in the final frame before rattling off 21 unanswered. It was freshman forward Ryan Rosburg that helped fuel the run, scoring six straight. His team shot 58 percent from the field while holding Cergy to just four field goals in the quarter.

The team struggled from far, going 5-for-19 from behind the perimeter.

“We relied too much on our perimeter jumper and went away from our strength, which is attacking the rim,” coach Frank Haith said in a news release. “I had a feeling our perimeter game might struggle tonight because the rims were off center and probably lower than 10 feet at one end, but once our guys started attacking the glass and we got some fouls called, they had to take their hands off us and it was a completely different game.”

Senior Keion Bell tallied 10 of his game-high 15 points in the fourth. Bell, a 6-foot-4 transfer from Pepperdine has played point guard in coach Haith’s rotation overseas. He produced highlights in the game with a pair of dunks that came after slashing the paint.

“We found ourselves in some foul trouble and guys like Keion and Ryan really took over in the fourth quarter when the game was still in doubt,” Haith said in the release. “They got that lead and there was a lot of emotion on the floor, but our guys stayed calm and really took control of the game with good ball movement and a great attacking mentality.”

Along with Bell, four other Tigers notched double figures. Senior Alex Oriakhi (13 points, 12 rebounds), a transfer from Connecticut, and junior Earnest Ross (13 points, 10 rebounds), a transfer from Auburn, recorded double-doubles.

Senior guard Michael Dixon ended an impressive overseas showing in which he averaged 16.5 points with 14 points. Sophomore guard Jabari Brown, an Oregon transfer, had 10 points.

The Tigers outscored four opponents by 68 over the trip. One game counted as a loss for the team, coming after Haith was ejected for arguing a no-call over an elbow to one of his players’ heads. He pulled his team off the floor.

The group will return to Columbia on Saturday.

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