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Taylor leads Missouri past Texas

Feb 5, 2009 - 6:17 AM AUSTIN, Texas (Ticker) -- Zaire Taylor converted a three-point play with 5.5 seconds remaining to lead Missouri to a 69-65 victory over No. 17 Texas on Wednesday.

Taylor used a screen and got to the rim and converted a layup and the free throw to give the Tigers a 68-65 lead.

"The play was to spread the floor, get four wide," Taylor said. "Time was winding down and I figured that was the best shot we could get at the time. The free throw was more pressure than the basket."

DeMarre Carroll stole the ensuing inbounds pass and made one free throw to cap the scoring and send Texas to its second straight home loss.

Texas pulled even at 65-65 on a floater in the lane by A.J. Abrams with one minute to play. After Carroll missed the front end of a 1-and-1, Abrams, the Big 12's career leader in 3-pointers, missed from the arc and set up Taylor's heroics.

"I think we were very fortunate to steal one on the road against an outstanding Texas team," Missouri coach Mike Anderson said. "I thought our defense really dictated the tempo in the second half."

Taylor scored 17 points for Missouri (19-4, 6-2 Big 12).

Dexter Pittman had a career-high 25 points for Texas (15-6, 4-3), which has lost consecutive home games for the first time since February 2002.

"We had no answer for Dexter Pittman. He was a beast out there," Anderson said.

"I thought Dex was terrific," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "He was the one post guy who did a great job and it's a tough matchup because their post guys made it hard to go inside. I thought he did a great job. If Dexter plays like that every night, it gives us a weapon that is hard for teams to deal with."

Pittman came off the bench and was 9-of-12 from the field and 7-of-10 from the line. He added seven rebounds and two blocks and helped give Missouri a 33-13 edge in bench points.

"I'd trade it all for a win," Pittman said. "We have to find our team identity. Everybody has to look at ourselves and figure out their role. Once they find it, they have to come with it every night and bring their 'A' game."

Leo Lyons scored 14 points and Carroll added 13 for the Tigers, who won in Austin for the first time since 1999.

"We've got to move on. We have a game in 48 hours," Abrams said. "We have to do something to right this right now. We have a game on Saturday and we have a chance to get out there and try to get a win under our belt."

Carroll saw it as the kind of win that could carry a team down the stretch of the season.

"Our whole mindset going on the road is defensive. Hopefully we can just keep this mindset in February and on into March," Carroll said. "It's a big win. To come on the road and win, it's going to look good in March."