January 3, 2009

Ramsey ignites big road win for Mizzou

Playing its first true road game of the season, Missouri (12-2) needed one play to turn the momentum in its favor against Georgia (9-5).

That play came courtesy of an unlikely source: Junior Keith Ramsey. His block in the middle of the second half ignited a stagnant Missouri offense and led to a comfortable 83-76 victory in Athens, GA.

"Big play of the game was Keith Ramsey, with the energy play," Missouri coach Mike Anderson said. "He went in and blocked the shot, and it kind of ignited our guys. You could see our guys take it to another gear."

With about 11 minutes remaining in regulation and the Tigers trailing 46-45, Georgia's Zac Swansey poked the ball away from Missouri's J.T. Tiller and looked destined for an easy fast-break basket.

Ramsey, trailing Swansey from the opposite side of the court, sprinted diagonally and met the Georgia guard as he left his feet for a lay-up. Ramsey's clean block started a fast break for the Tigers, which resulted in a lay-up for Tiller.

"I think that was the spark we needed to get over the hump," Tiller said after the game. "It was a very big play."

Anderson credited Ramsey's play to his desire to see the court more often.

"I've always said if you want to impress me, impress me with your defense," Anderson said.

Until Ramsey's block, Missouri struggled in almost every facet of its game. Georgia bullied the Tigers in the post, led by 6-foot-9 Trey Thompkins, and Missouri had no answer for the Bulldogs' leading scorer, senior Terrance Woodbury.

Woodbury almost single-handedly kept Georgia in the game. He finished with 27 points and seemed to answer every Missouri run with a basket. Woodbury missed the Bulldogs previous four games with a high-ankle sprain, but only a minor limp hinted at his injury.

Carroll and Zaire Taylor each scored 17 points to lead Missouri.

The Tigers play Coppin State at 8 p.m. Tuesday in Columbia to finish their non-conference schedule.

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