Hoops: Horns, Ivey Knock Off Mizzou, 75-69, In OT

Senior G <B>Royal Ivey</B> is redefining 'clutch' for the No. 14/16 Texas basketball team. Behind a career high 24 points (8-of-17 FG, 6-of-8 FT), Ivey came up big for the third time in four contests as the Longhorns overcame a determined Tiger team in overtime at Columbia, 75-69.

The tough road win lifts Texas to 12-2 on the season, 3-0 in Big 12 play. Missouri, a pre-season choice to win the league title and winners at Oklahoma Saturday, fell to 7-7, 2-2 in Big 12.

Ivey scored 10 of his points in OT, hitting two FG and two FT in the final 2:48 of the extra frame. He added five assists and six rebounds in what was a typical gutcheck win at Missouri.

"Everybody thinks he's the least heralded guy coming in (but) the bigger the stakes the better he is," Rick Barnes said post-game.

The Horns have now won six straight against the Tigers while the two previous road wins were by a total of five points. Ivey told IT earlier last year that he thrives in being in situations where the game is at stake and the ball is in his hands. Ivey, you may recall, hit the game winner Saturday against Nebraska with two seconds remaining and, previously, nailed the three-pointer to send the contest into overtime in Texas' win at Providence on Jan. 5.

Here's an obscene stat: Texas went to the line just nine times during regulation (hitting five) while the Tigers were 25-of-37 from the charity stripe. Translated: officials saw just nine personals against the home team in a typically brutal Big 12 matchup. The Horns, however, hit all 10 free throws in OT to stay perfect in league play.

Texas trailed by three at the half and never led by more than seven in the slugfest while Missouri's biggest lead of the night was all of four points. The score was knotted eight times in the final eight minutes of play. But senior F Brian Boddicker was true from beyond the arc with seven seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.

"He doesn't make that and we lose so that was the turning point in the game," OT hero Ivey said. "He came through for us. It was a team effort it wasn't just me."

Longhorn senior G Brandon Mouton was Texas' second-leading scorer with 13 while all 10 Texas players that saw the court scratched both the points and rebounds column. That's the "team effort" that Ivey mentioned above.

Junior G Ricky Paulding led Missouri with 20 points (7-of-15 FG, 6-of-12 FT) but missed five late free throws and all five attempts from three-point land.

The Tigers held Texas (the NCAA scoring-leader at nearly 90 ppg) to a season-low 22 first-half points. Mizzou also held their own against the NCAA leader in rebounding margin, as the Horns barely controlled the boards, 37-36. Texas was 27-of-66 from the field while the Tiger shot 25-of-48. The Horns forced 13 turnovers while committing just nine.

"I think it was big," Barnes said of his team's seventh consecutive win (and third straight over the Tigers in Columbia. "I think in this league, I've said all along, this league will be as tight as it has been in the six years that I've been in Texas. I like the way our guys maintained their poise and I feel great right now but you can't bask in it. You've got to get ready to go again Saturday night."

Now, the Horns face a pair of league games against nationally ranked teams, starting with Oklahoma State, 3 p.m. (CST) Saturday at the Erwin Center and at Texas Tech, 6 p.m., on Monday, January 26.

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