Tigers down Monarchs to stay unbeatenDec 31, 2011 - 5:08 AM Norfolk, VA (Sports Network) - Marcus Denmon drilled a go-ahead three-pointer with a minute to play, and the clutch shot carried No. 8 -- and still unbeaten -- Missouri to a 75-68 victory over Old Dominion.
Denmon finished with 19 points, all but two of which he scored in the second half.
He highlighted the performance with the late three-pointer, then made two free throws to secure the victory for the Tigers (13-0), who are off to their best start since beginning the 1981-82 season with 19 consecutive wins.
Kim English added 16 points for Missouri, while Phil Pressey and Ricardo Ratliffe both scored 14.
Old Dominion (6-7) erased a second-half deficit to take the lead in the final few minutes, but fell short of the upset.
"It's hard not to be flooded with the what-ifs," said ODU head coach Blaine Taylor. "Facts are you're ahead at half, facts are you make a real nice comeback, facts are you're ahead late in the game, so you're thinking of the chances that could have been."
Kent Bazemore scored 16 points to lead the Monarchs, and his layup with just under two minutes left put them up 67-65. They had been in front at halftime, and came back to battle with Missouri for the lead down the stretch.
But after Ratliffe followed with a layup, Bazemore couldn't deliver another key basket. He turned the ball over and, after Missouri gave it right back, missed a jumper.
Ratliffe grabbed the rebound off Bazemore's miss and the Tigers quickly advanced up the court. Denmon accepted a pass on the right wing and canned the three for a 70-67 lead.
ODU then worked the ball inside for Chris Cooper, but he was called for traveling with 42.9 seconds remaining. The Monarchs immediately fouled Denmon, who made both attempts to extend the Tigers' lead to two possessions, and they held on from there.
Old Dominion didn't just stay close during the first half, it led by multiple possessions at times, including when Bazemore sank a jumper for a 29-25 edge with just more than five minutes left.
Missouri scored the next two buckets to tie the game and went in front, 32-31, on Pressey's three-point play with two minutes remaining. However, Donte Hill drilled a three at the other end to put the Monarchs ahead again, and they went into the break with a 35-33 advantage.
The Tigers seemed like they had taken control for good early in the second half, when they went on a 17-4 run. Denmon and English both made a pair of threes during the burst, which Pressey ended with a dunk for a 53-44 lead.
However, Missouri went scoreless for about 4 1/2 minutes after Pressey's dunk, allowing ODU to climb back in the game. Trian Iliadis' three with 12 minutes to go pulled the Monarchs within two.
Missouri was the second-highest ranked team ever to visit the Ted Constant Convocation Center...The Tigers have won five consecutive meetings with ODU...Iliadis had 15 points for ODU.
- MISSOURI: 75
OLD DOMINION: 68
Dec 30 9:09 PM
- MISSOURI: 33
OLD DOMINION: 35
Dec 30 7:56 PM
- MISSOURI: 0
OLD DOMINION: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Dec 30 7:04 PM
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