Friday, December 3, 2010

No. 9 Missouri holds off Oregon 83-80

EUGENE, Ore. -Marcus Denmon scored 19 points and No. 9 Missouri held on to beat Oregon 83-80 on Thursday night in a Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series game.

Kim English had 12 points for the Tigers (6-1), who nearly blew all of their 20-point halftime lead. Ricardo Ratliffe and Michael Dixon added 11 points each for Missouri and Matt Pressey had 10 points.

E.J. Singler scored a career-high 19 points for the Ducks (4-3), who trailed 44-24 at halftime but shot 62.1 percent from the field and made 8 of 15 3-pointers in the second half. Freshman Johnathan Loyd made two 3s in the final 14 seconds, the second of which cut the Tigers' lead to 82-80 with 8 seconds to play.

But Dixon made 1 of 2 free throws with 5.3 seconds left, and the Ducks missed on a last-ditch effort to tie the game as time ran out.

Loyd, Jay-R Strowbridge and Joevan Catron all had 15 points for the Ducks.

Missouri was coming off its first loss of the season — 111-102 in overtime to No. 16 Georgetown on Tuesday — but the Tigers played sharp in the first half, leading by as many as 22 points and shooting 64.3 percent from the field.

Denmon, who had a career-high 27 points against the Hoyas, scored 13 in the first half. He finished the game 5 of 7 from the field, 3 for 4 from 3-point range and 6 for 7 from the free throw line. He had a team-best eight rebounds.

Oregon, which was turned down by Missouri's Mike Anderson during its coaching search last spring before hiring Dana Altman from Creighton, was without two starters who were late scratches. Teondre Williams sat because of a concussion and Jeremy Jacob was held out after experiencing discomfort in his surgically repaired right knee.

Still, the Ducks kept their deficit under 10 points until a 3-pointer by Pressey sparked an 11-2 run that made it 31-13 with 6:22 to play in the first half.

Missouri's length and athleticism kept the Ducks from having an inside presence early. Oregon finished the first half with just 10 points in the paint and was blocked five times, including three times by Ratliffe, who finished with four blocks. Oregon scored 14 of its 24 points in the first half on two 3-pointers and eight free throws and shot just 23.3 percent.

But Singler capped a 10-0 run early in the second half with the first of his three 3-pointers as the Ducks cut their deficit to 49-41 with 13:25 to play. 

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