November 23, 2012

Tigers get Louisville next

PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS--On Thursday afternoon, Missouri dispatched of the Stanford Cardinal. Friday night, it will be another group of Cardinals. Second-ranked Louisville beat Northern Iowa 51-46 in Thursday's final game to set up a battle of top 15 teams at 9:30 tonight in the Battle 4 Atlantis semifinals.

Rick Pitino praised his team's defense in the win. UNI shot just 34.6% from the floor and made six-of-19 from three-point range.

Those numbers could be repeated tonight as the Tigers struggled to shoot themselves in the opener at Atlantis. Mizzou made only 26-of-71 shots and hit a paltry 31.6% in the second half in a 78-70 win over Stanford.

It is a recipe similar to the one that got Louisville to round two in the tournament. The Cardinals shot just better than 30% against Northern Iowa but advanced thanks to defense. Missouri allowed 24 more points than Louisville in round one, but beat Stanford on the glass and took advantage of 16 second-half offensive rebounds. Louisville outrebounded UNI 46-28, including 21-5 on the offensive glass.

Defense and rebounding will be center stage on Friday night, but so will the point guards. Two of the nation's best will match up as Peyton Siva takes on Phil Pressey.

Pressey had 18 points, eight assists and four steals in Missouri's round one win and was one of the keys to the victory. Siva struggled in his team's opener. He scored just seven points on 3-for-12 shooting and had four turnovers against just one assist.

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