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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Preview: Tiger basketball travels to Nebraska on Tuesday

The Tigers are a dismal 1-6 away from Mizzou Arena this season.

Senior forward Justin Safford goes up for a shot during a game against Baylor on Wednesday at Mizzou Arena. The Tigers will play Nebraska in Lincoln on Tuesday.

James Militello/Senior Staff Photographer
Michelle Bedker/Graphic Designer

Last time the Tigers made the trip to Lincoln, Neb., the football team came home with its first road loss of the season. Tuesday, the basketball team will look to grab those bragging rights back from Nebraska.

As No. 22, Missouri will take on unranked Nebraska on the road Tuesday. Both teams come off tough losses away from home over the weekend. Missouri couldn’t catch Kansas State in its 80-70 loss and Nebraska was edged out by Iowa State in overtime, 83-82.

The loss over the weekend puts Missouri at 22-7 overall and 8-6 in conference. It was also enough to sink the team to No. 22 in the AP Poll, while Nebraska sits at 18-10 with a 6-8 conference record.

The trip to Manhattan on Saturday marked yet another road loss in the Big 12 for Missouri. The Tigers are just 1-6 in away games during conference play with their one win coming over Iowa State Feb. 19. A win Tuesday would make three road victories for the Tigers on the season including one at Oregon back in December.

Unlike the Tigers, who are undefeated at home this year, the Huskers already have two losses on their home court inside the Devaney Center. The first came when Kansas took the court in January and the second at the hands of Kansas State last week.

If the Tigers want to hand them their third home loss, they’ll have to show them why they are second in the Big 12 in scoring. Missouri averages 79 points per game in conference play to Nebraska’s 65.8.

Junior guard Marcus Denmon is responsible for more of those points than any other Tiger. At 16.7 points per game, the junior sharp shooter leads Missouri this season. It was Denmon’s 24 points off the bench last season that lifted the Tigers to victory in Lincoln last season.

Denmon bounced back from a few slow games last week with team-high of 22 points in Saturday’s loss.

The Tigers have been successful on the defensive end as well, consistently winning the turnover battle and coming in at No. 3 in the nation with 9.7 steals per game. Missouri also averages a significant 21 points per game off turnovers.

Freshman guard Phil Pressey accounts for nearly two of those steals per game. The Big 12 All-Freshman candidate leads the conference in assists and steals this year.

At 8-6 in the Big 12, the Tigers are playing for their third consecutive winning season in conference play. Missouri is two games over .500 with only tonight’s game and Saturday’s home matchup with Kansas remaining.

The Tigers have won two of their last three contests in Lincoln as well as four of their last five meetings with the Huskers. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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