Posted: Tuesday January 8, 2013 4:09 AM

Missouri ready for SEC opener against Alabama

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Missouri is so well-tested that its first-ever SEC game shouldn't cause any anxiety.

A 2-point decision over Bucknell, an overtime loss at UCLA and a neutral-site victory over Illinois have all helped the 10th-ranked Tigers (11-2) prepare for Tuesday night's game against Alabama (8-5).

They trailed at halftime and got outrebounded for the first time all season against Bucknell on Saturday before winning their 73rd consecutive nonconference home game, a feat stretching to the 2005-06 opener. Coach Frank Haith is counting on such tests to toughen the roster now that the competition figures to step up on a consistent basis, even if the opening matchup appears a bit lopsided.

Alabama had lost five of six overall before beating Oakland 65-45 Saturday to snap a three-game home losing streak.

 
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