Missouri (13-4, 4-2 Big 12) has won eight in a row against the Buffaloes (12-7, 2-4), seven of them under coach Quin Snyder. The Tigers have won three of four overall heading into Monday night's game at rival Kansas.
Michel Morandais hit a 3-pointer with 7.2 seconds left to cut the Missouri lead to 71-70. Missouri went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the final half-minute, with Clemons and Jimmy McKinney hitting two apiece. Morandais' long 3-pointer banged off the back of the rim with 1 second left.
Missouri won despite an off-game by Arthur Johnson, who was averaging nearly a double-double with 16.9 points and 9.9 rebounds. Johnson didn't get a rebound until early in the second half and was held to 10 points and five rebounds.
Clemons hit a 3-pointer from midcourt at the halftime buzzer to put Missouri ahead 37-35. He also scored 10 straight points for the Tigers in the second half to keep the lead in double digits.
Missouri was once down by as many as eight points. But Rickey Paulding had 21 points and nine rebounds, getting 11 of the points in a 16-2 run that appeared to put Missouri in control at 48-37 with 16:24 remaining. The spurt included two layups, a 3-pointer and two follow shots, the second after getting his own attempt blocked by Glean Eddy.
The game was a return to form for the junior guard, who averages 16.3 points. In the previous five games, he averaged 11 points and shot 32 percent.
Colorado has lost three of four, the exception during that stretch a rare victory over Kansas on Jan. 22. Morandais had 18 points and Blair Wilson added 16 for the Buffaloes, who are 2-6 on the road.
Colorado center David Harrison did not start after drawing two technicals and charging after a Texas Tech player in a 66-56 loss on Wednesday, and had four points and seven rebounds in 29 minutes.
Missouri's 6-foot-10 reserve forward Jeffrey Ferguson, the tallest player on the team, began a two-game suspension for violating unspecified team rules. Missouri began the game with only eight scholarship players, including former walk-on guard Ryan Kiernan.