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No. 8 Tigers survive Old Dominion scare

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.

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