By HANK KURZ Jr.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
NORFOLK, Va. — Marcus Denmon saw the opening on the fast break on a previous trip down court. With No. 8 Missouri getting all it could handle from Old Dominion and just over a minute left, he went there again.
Denmon scored 17 of his 19 points after halftime and made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 61 seconds to play as the Tigers held on for a 75-68 victory over the Monarchs on Friday.
“I went to the spot I saw was open and just shot a shot I shoot 1,000 times a week,” Denmon said. “I understood it was an important part of the game, and I just wanted to win the game.”
Kim English added 16 points, Ricardo Ratliffe had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Phil Pressley scored 14 as Missouri (13-0) continued its best start since opening 19-0 in 1981-82.
Early in the second half, it looked as though the Tigers were about to run away as Denmon made three 3-pointers and English two during a 20-9 surge that gave Missouri a 53-44 lead with 15:39 remaining.
Old Dominion’s Trian Iliadis hit a 3-pointer to make it 53-51 with 12 minutes to go and the Monarchs (6-7), spurred on by a raucous sellout crowd, matched the Tigers physically.
Michael Dixon’s driving layup and free throw gave the Tigers a 63-62 lead with
3:16 to play, but Chris Cooper’s three-point play with 2:43 to play put the Monarchs back in front, 65-63.
The back-and-forth scoring continued with Kent Bazemore scoring on a layup from the right side for the Monarchs before Ratliffe tied it again from the inside.
But after Denmon’s 3-pointer made it 70-67, he hit both ends of a one-and-one with 42 seconds left, and the Monarchs ran out of rallies.
“We weren’t able to back up a really good play with a second really good play,” Old Dominion coach Blaine Taylor said. “Most of our really good plays were in answer to their big plays.”
Bazemore led Old Dominion with 16 points, Iliadis added 15, and Chris Cooper had 10 points and 11 rebounds.AROUND THE NATION
DUKE HITS CENTURY MARK — At Durham, N.C., Seth Curry scored a season-high 22 points and Austin Rivers had 20, carrying No. 7 Duke (11-1) to a 110-70 rout of Western Michigan (5-8). Quinn Cook added 16 points and Josh Hairston 13 for the Blue Devils.
RACERS REMAIN UNBEATEN — At Charleston, Ill., Stacy Wilson scored 16 points to lead No. 20 Murray State to an easy 73-40 win over Eastern Illinois. Jewuan Long added 14 points for the Racers (14-0, 2-0 Ohio Valley), who made a season-high 12 3-pointers.
CAVALIERS HANG ON — At Charlottesville, Va., Sammy Zeglinski scored 20 points and Joe Harris added 18 to help No. 23 Virginia (12-1) beat winless Towson, 57-50. The Cavaliers won their 10th straight despite shooting 34.8 percent from the field.
MOUNTAIN WEST CONFERENCE
FALCONS GRIND OUT WIN — At Santa Clara, Calif., Todd Fletcher scored a career-high 18 points as Air Force beat Eastern Michigan 42-37 in the consolation game of the Cable Car Classic. The Falcons (7-4) overcame their lowest point total of the season.
AZTECS CRUISE — At San Diego, guard Jamaal Franklin compiled 26 points and 10 rebounds for his second career double-double, leading No. 25 San Diego State (12-2) to its fifth straight victory, a 94-43 rout of Division III Redlands.