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December 2, 2010

Dixon, Tigers want redemption

No rest for the weary, they say. After one of the most intense, fast-paced games in the country, there is no rest for the Missouri Tigers.

"You talk about the 'Fastest 40 Minutes,'" Mike Anderson said after a 111-102 overtime loss to Georgetown on Tuesday night. "I guess you saw it both ways."

The Tigers and Hoyas spent Tuesday night criss-crossing the Sprint Center floor at a frantic pace. The team spent Tuesday night in Kansas City and hopped a flight for Eugene, Oregon on Wednesday morning where they will face the Oregon Ducks in the Big XII-PAC 10 Challenge tonight at 8:00 p.m. Pacific time.

"It's a quick turnaround," Marcus Denmon said. "Games like (Georgetown) are tough, but coach always tells us we've got to forget at midnight and just keep working hard and continue to get better."

Perhaps no player is more eager to take the floor again than sophomore point guard Mike Dixon Jr.. Dixon played well on Tuesday against the Hoyas, matching a career-high with 17 points and adding four steals, four assists and two rebounds against only two turnovers in 38 minutes.

But in the final 15 seconds, Dixon made a couple of mistakes. With 14.8 to play, he fouled Georgetown Chris Wright beyond the three-point line, allowing the Hoyas to cut a four-point lead to two with the clock stopped. Less than a second later, Dixon was fouled. He made the first free throw, but missed the second, which left the lead at three and allowed the Hoyas to force overtime on Wright's three-pointer at the buzzer.

"There's no excuse. I missed a free throw. I take responsibility," Dixon said. "I kind of let my team down because if I make that free throw, you never know what happens after that. Maybe they get a little bit tired on offense because it's a two possession game. It's about 50 different things you say if it would have went the other way, we could have won this game. I'm a point guard. Point guards make free throws. I take responsibility in that."

Dixon did make eight free throws in 11 attempts on Tuesday night and is shooting 79.3% from the line on the season. That mark is second on the team to Denmon, but Dixon has 29 attempts to Denmon's 12. But it was one of his three misses that the sophomore lamented long into Wednesday morning.

"It was our first huge game, let's just be honest about it," Dixon said. "We tried, I mean we fought hard, but we didn't step up. We can use this as a wake up call and get back in the win column."

That chance comes in Eugene tonight. The Ducks enter tonight's contest 4-and-2 in Dana Altman's first season. They have wins over North Dakota State, Denver, UC-Santa Barbara and Texas Southern, but have lost to San Jose State and by 27 to top-ranked Duke in their most recent game.

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