On Friday night, the #8 Missouri Tigers (13-0) escaped from the jam-packed Ted Constant Convocation Center with a hard-fought 75-68 win over the Old Dominion Monarchs (6-7).
"It was a great learning experience," said Missouri Head Coach Frank Haith, summarizing his thoughts following the narrow victory. "We came away with a W, and we're pleased with that."
With the score tied at 67, and 1:03 remaining on the clock, Marcus Denmon took a pass from Phil
Pressey and hit his fourth 3-PT shot of the second half, to put Missouri ahead to stay. Twenty seconds later, Denmon stepped up to the FT line, and nailed a pair of freebies, to extend the Tigers' lead to 72-67. After scoring just 2 points in the first half, the All-American candidate scored 17 second-half points to lead all scorers with 19 points on the game.
"Good teams find a way to win," said Denmon, following the game. "I just couldn't let us lose…………………………….. It was a really important win, but we're not content with this."
Ricardo Ratliffe posted a double-double, with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Missouri shot the ball much better in the second half, largely because they had their better shooters shooting the basketball. After Missouri shot 1-6 from behind the 3-PT line in the first half, Denmon and Kim English were a combined 6-8 from behind the arc. Denmon opened the half with 3 straight 3-PT makes, and English added one in transition, as the Tigers raced out to a 9-point early second-half lead.
English finished with 16 points and 6 big rebounds. Phil Pressey added 14 points, and 7 assists, but also had 5 turnovers, as his judgment repeatedly came into question.
For Old Dominion, Coach Blaine Taylor had his team ready to play. For much of the game, the Monarchs kept the pace of the game to their liking, and they out-rebounded Missouri by a 41-31 margin, including 20 offensive rebounds.