"Battle of the Tigers" as Missouri Basketball hosts Tennessee State

From the University of Missouri

Tip-Off: 2 p.m. CT

Arena: Mizzou Arena (15,061)

TV: MSN (Chris Gervino - Play by Play / Jon Sundvold - Analyst)

Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly - Play by Play and Gary Link - Analyst)

Rankings: Missouri - No. 12/No. 11 - Associated Press / USA Today Coaches' Poll

Tennessee State - NR/NR

Series: Second Meeting, Missouri leads 1-0; last 89-75 Missouri win on Nov. 27, 1995, in Columbia


Missouri: Frank Haith (Elon '88); 166-107 overall (9th); 37-6 at Mizzou (2nd season)

Tennessee State: Travis Williams (Georgia State '95) 46-50 overall (4th season overall)

For Openers...

> Finals week has hit the University of Missouri campus and the Tigers play one final game before a lengthy break for exams, taking on Tennessee State on Dec. 8 at Mizzou Arena ... Saturday's game will be another challenge as the TSU Tigers were picked second in the Ohio Valley's East Division ... Missouri's Dec. 1 opponent, Southeast Missouri State, was picked second in the OVC's West Division.

> Missouri is playing its third member of the Ohio Valley this season ... The Tigers have already defeated SIUE (83-69) and Southeast Missouri State (81-65).

> Laurence Bowers continues to have an all-SEC senior season and scored a career high 26 points on 10-of-18 shooting vs. Southeast Missouri State on Tuesday ... Bowers has back-to-back 20-point efforts for the first time in his career and is now just 28 points shy of the 1,000-point plateau for his career.

> Bowers would become the 44th Tiger all-time with 1,000 points and the third player in that great 2008-09 freshman class to top the 1,000-point mark, joining former teammates Marcus Denmon (1,775 points) and Kim English (1,570 points).

> Mizzou will look to continue its homecourt domination vs. non-league foes ... Overall Missouri has won 70 consecutive home games vs. non-league opposition since the end of the 2005-06 campaign ... In fact Mizzou has won 29-of-30 regular season non-league games (regardless of site) since the 2010-11 campaign ... Missouri's last non-conference loss at home came vs. Sam Houston State in the 2005 Preseason NIT.

> Overall at Mizzou Arena the Tigers are 72-4 since 2008-09, an incredible .947 winning percentage.

> A victory on Saturday would allow the Tigers to be 8-1 (or better) for three consecutive seasons and for the fourth time in five campaigns dating back to 2008-09.

> Saturday's game could be the final on the bench for Oregon transfer Jabari Brown ... Pending the finalization of semester coursework, Brown could suit up as early as Dec. 17 when Mizzou takes on South Carolina State at Mizzou Arena.

> Missouri continues to dominate on the glass and out-rebounded Southeast Missouri State by 20 (48-28) during Tuesday's win ... The Tigers are No. 4 nationally in rebounding at 45.0 caroms a game and have seven different players averaging at least 3.6 boards a night ... One of those players is senior guard Keion Bell who logged a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double vs. SEMO, his first double-double as a Tiger.

> The Tigers also average 16.3 offensive rebounds per game (No. 7 nationally) and turn that into 17.1 second-chance points per contest ... Mizzou's season rebounding margin (+11.8) is also No. 8 nationally, tops in the SEC.

> Fueling that rebounding margin is the fact three Tigers have multiple point-rebound double-doubles this year ... Alex Oriakhi, Earnest Ross and Laurence Bowers each have a pair of double-doubles this season, including two by Bowers during the recent trip to the Battle 4 Atlantis ... Five Tigers have double digit rebounding games in total with Tony Criswell and Keion Bell joining that group ... Just two Mizzou players had double figure rebounding games last year, Ricardo Ratliffe (nine times) and Marcus Denmon (once).

Mizzou Basketball Cliff Notes...

> Mizzou Basketball returns to action on Dec. 8 when the Tigers meet Tennessee State at Mizzou Arena at 2 p.m.

> Missouri has won 22 consecutive games in the month of December dating back to Dec. 12, 2009.

> Missouri has won eight consecutive games vs. current members of the Ohio Valley Conference dating back to the 2003-04 season, including two wins this season vs. SIUE and SEMO.

> Missouri is one of the country's top rebounding teams and has out-rebounded all-eight foes in 2012-13 ... Missouri enjoyed its largest rebounding margin of the year on Tuesday (+20) and has recorded a double-digit rebounding advantage in five of eight games.

> Defensively, Missouri has held seven of eight opponents (Louisville) below 42 percent shooting ... Southeast Missouri State shot 55 percent in the first half en route to a 45-35 lead at the break, only to be limited to 27 percent shooting in the second half.

> Laurence Bowers is in the midst of his first back-to-back 20-point efforts in his career ... The senior tied a career high with 23 points in the win over Appalachian State and shattered that mark with 26 against Southeast Missouri State on Tuesday ... Over his last two games Bowers is averaging 24.5 points on 66 percent shooting from the floor and a perfect 5-of-5 shooting from three-point range.

> Bowers is the first Tiger with back-to-back 20-point games since Kim English last season ... English had three consecutive 20-point efforts late in the year last season with 20 at Texas Tech and 27 vs. Oklahoma State and 23 vs. Texas in the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City, Mo.

> Missouri has started to build its bench over the last two weeks with the play of Keion Bell off the pine and the more confident production of Tony Criswell ... Missouri is averaging 18.0 points per game from its bench on the year, including 26.5 points over the last two games.

> On the season Missouri has six double-figure scoring efforts off the bench (Bell - 3, Criswell - 2, Webster-Chan - 1).

> Speaking of Bell coming off the bench, the senior is averaging 12.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.7 dimes per game during that three-game run ... And his playing time is up to 26.3 minutes per game ... In his five games as a starter Bell averaged 8.0 points, 4.0 rebounds in 22.0 minutes.

> Criswell is also on an impressive two-game run averaging 11.5 points on 69 percent shooting (11-of-16) in 20.0 minutes a game.

> Despite having so many newcomers, Mizzou has been balanced through eight games with seven players averaging at least 17.5 minutes a contest ... Seven different Tigers have also reached double figures in scoring in a game this season and seven different Tigers have recorded at least 7+ boards in a game, with five different players reaching double figures in rebounding as well.

> Missouri has won 70 consecutive regular-season, non-conference home games since 2005-06 and since 2006-07 (63-0) the club's margin of victory has been 26.3 points in those non-league home tilts.

> Missouri is 13-0 in home non-league games under Frank Haith and each of those 13 wins have been by double figures ... In fact Mizzou is 20-1 in regular season non-league games under Haith and have won 16 of those games by 10 or more points, including wins over Villanova (10), Notre Dame (29) and California (39) on neutral courts.

> Missouri has won at historic levels over the last four seasons and continues its search for a record-setting fifth consecutive 20-win campaign ... The Tigers have won 23+ games each of the last four seasons.

> MU also won 20+ in four consecutive years from 1988-92 and 1979-83.

> Haith's 2011-12 offense was known for its efficiency and the early returns are good this season as well ... Missouri is averaging 1.14 points per possession this year, despite shooting just 44 percent from the floor.

> Missouri was college basketball's most efficient offensive club a year ago (according to KenPom.com) ... And how about this for an exciting SEC schedule, Kentucky was ranked No. 2 and Florida was No. 3.

> Frank Haith's offense also ranked No. 1 nationally in field goal percentage (.504), assist/turnover ratio (1.6) and among the Top 10 in scoring (6th - 80.4), scoring margin (5th - 14.1), three-point percentage (9th - .398), turnovers (5th - 10.2) and turnover margin (7th - 4.1).

> Haith was of course named the National Coach of the Year by the Associated Press, taking the Tigers to their second 30-win season in school history and fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament.

> Missouri begins its first season of play in the Southeastern Conference ... League play officially begins on Jan. 8, 2013, vs. Alabama ... That game is actually the official opener to the 2013 SEC season.

> Mizzou got an early start to its 2012-13 campaign, playing five games in Europe from Aug. 8-18 ... However none of Missouri's current players saw action overseas, proving to be a great opportunity for the MU newcomers to get extended playing time.

> The Tigers played games in Amsterdam, Belgium and France.

> Missouri will be seen on TV like never before thanks to the move to the SEC ... The Tigers will have a school record 18 games appearing on national TV during the regular season.

> Mizzou also had four players ranked among the top players at their position by CBS Sports ... Phil Pressey headlined that list at No. 2 among point guards.

> In the front court Alex Oriakhi was ranked No. 35 and Laurence Bowers checked in at No. 38.

> Newcomer Jabari Brown was ranked among college hoop's top wing players, checking in at No. 48.

> Fran Fraschilla ranked Phil Pressey as the country's No. 5 most-important player.

> Luke Winn of Sports Illustrated also listed Pressey (No. 5) on his preseason Naismith Award watch list.

> Missouri's transfer class of Keion Bell, Jabari Brown, Alex Oriakhi and Earnest Ross is being considered as one of the best in basketball history by the Sporting News.