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No. 9 Missouri outlasts No. 21 Illinois

Dec 23, 2010 - 5:24 AM St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Marcus Denmon led a balanced attack with 15 points as No. 9 Missouri outlasted No. 21 Illinois, 75-64, at Scottrade Center.

Laurence Bowers posted 13 points with nine rebounds and Ricardo Ratliffe added 12 points and five boards for the Tigers (11-1), who have won six in a row since a November 30 overtime loss to Georgetown.

Mike Davis scored 17 points with eight boards for the Illini (10-3), who have lost two in a row. Demetri McCamey had 14 points and Mike Tisdale ripped down 13 rebounds in a losing cause.

Bowers connected on a jumper to start Missouri's game-ending burst, which brought the Tigers to 57-56 with 3:20 showing. Denmon then followed with a shot for the lead, and after Tisdale hit 1-of-2 from the line, Michael Dixon gave Mizzou the lead for good on a jumper with 1:25 to play.

Ratliffe added a layup, then after a three from D.J. Richardson, Bowers answered with a deuce for a 64-61 contest.

Bowers contributed two free throws and Denmon added a lay-in for a 68-61 Missouri advantage with 34 ticks showing. The Tigers then hit 6-of-7 from the charity stripe in the final seconds to seal the victory.

Brandon Paul's deuce just after the eight-minute mark gave Illinois a 15-8 advantage, but Missouri came back to get within 17-15 on a Kim English trey.

Paul hit from long distance and the Illini led 23-15, then Davis added a jumper for a 27-20 edge with 3:02 left before half, but Mizzou reeled off seven in a row and things were knotted 27-27 at the break after Denmon hit a three.

Davis completed a three-point play to forge a 37-37 deadlock more than four minutes into the second half, then a Tisdale dunk and layup from Paul gave Illinois a four-point edge with 14:11 remaining.

A 9-2 run from the Tigers followed to open up a 46-43 edge on a Justin Safford deuce, but McCamey's trey knotted the game at 50-50, then Richardson's jumper put Illinois up 57-54 with 4:10 to play to cap a 12-6 burst.

Game Notes

Missouri's 11-1 start is its best since 1991-92...Ratliffe contributed 12 points, Safford ended with 11 and Dixon added 10 points with six assists...Tisdale tallied nine points...The Tigers host Northern Illinois on Monday and the Illini begin their Big Ten schedule at Iowa on December 29