The No. 10 Missouri Tigers took their eighth straight win Thursday night over the visiting Monarchs of Old Dominion. The Tigers improve to 13-1 on the season with the 81-58 victory.
Junior guard Marcus Denmon posted yet another 20+ point performance, racking up a game-high 22 points. Missouri’s leading scorer had his second consecutive game with five three-pointers.
Joining Denmon in double digits were four other Tigers, led by sophomore guard Michael Dixon with 18 points and a team-high four assists off the bench.
Junior guard Kim English finally broke the ten-point mark during his current drought, though he was just 3-of-10 shooting. The junior hasn’t shown up this year after leading the team in scoring last season. English is averaging just over 10 points per game on less than 40-percent shooting.
Missouri started off slow in this one and Old Dominion kept it close until late in the first half. The Tigers never trailed after the first three minutes, but the aged Monarchs made them work for it.
Coach Mike Anderson had his boys ready for the experienced starters of Old Dominion. The team leader knew they were up to the task.
“Coach did a good job getting us ready and telling us how good Old Dominion was,” Denmon said. “Just telling us that they're a really good ball club and they've got a lot of older guys. But I guess that's what you get when you just keep working hard and I think we were hungry for this win.”
The visiting team boasted four seniors in its regular rotation to Missouri’s one. But it wasn’t enough to stem the blowout from the Big 12 matchup.
Denmon and company took over in the second half, outscoring the Big Blue 44-29 after the break. The Tigers led by as many as 24 points in the second twenty.
Missouri dominated in the rebounding department as well as in scoring. Five Tigers had at least four rebounds with three of them grabbing five for a team total of 32 rebounds.
Junior forward Ricardo Ratliffe was one of those Tigers and became a force in the paint tonight.
"We just made sure that we put a body in there,” Ratliffe said. “We knew that was a really good rebounding team so we had to be physical. Even if we couldn't get the rebound, we had to make sure our man didn't get the rebound."
That strategy led to 32 points in the paint as 10 of those rebounds came on the offensive end.
Next up for the Tigers is their third straight contest inside Mizzou Arena as they host North Alabama. It will be their final nonconference matchup before they open Big 12 play at Colorado on Jan. 8.
After more than a dozen out-of-conference contests, the Tigers are ready for the conference competition. Junior guard Matt Pressey says his team has practiced a new philosophy since their back-and-forth battle with Illinois.
"We're ready,” Pressey said. “We come at it with this sense of urgency that we've carried out all the way from the Illinois game up until now."