February 9, 2013

Emotional Oriakhi flattens Ole Miss

All season long, Alex Oriakhi's emotions have been a storyline for the Missouri Tigers. They came to a boil in the second half of a 98-79 win over Ole Miss on Saturday afternoon.

With 7:31 remaining, Oriakhi fell to the floor. He reached out and grabbed Reginald Buckner's ankle, bringing Buckner down as well. As Buckner got up, he began barking at Oriakhi, which brought Laurence Bowers to the aid of his teammate. Buckner and Bowers scuffled.

After about five minutes, the officials finally sorted it out: A flagrant one foul on Oriakhi, a technical and an ejection for Buckner and dead-ball technicals against Bowers and Jabari Brown.

But for the Tigers and Oriakhi, the exchange may have been a net positive. Following a one-minute stint on the bench, Oriakhi came back to score seven points and grab six rebounds before sitting down for good with less than a minute to go. If the game hadn't been decided before the skirmish, Oriakhi made sure it was afterward, finishing with 22 points and 18 boards.

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