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February 19, 2011

Tigers get first league road win

AMES, Iowa (AP)--Marcus Denmon scored 25 points and No. 20 Missouri beat Iowa State 76-70 on Saturday for its first Big 12 road win of the season.

Laurence Bowers added 16 for the Tigers (21-6, 7-5 Big 12), who won their first game away from Columbia since beating Illinois in St. Louis in December.

Missouri, which shot 19 of 24 from the free-throw line, hit four straight to go ahead 66-60 with 3:27 left. Bowers then capped a scrambling possession with a putback, giving the Tigers a 68-60 lead with 1:55 to go.

Iowa State got as close as 72-68 with 24 seconds left, but Missouri iced the game with four free throws from Michael Dixon.

Jake Anderson had 17 points for Iowa State (14-13, 1-11), which lost its ninth straight game after an encouraging 14-4 start.

Though Missouri never trailed in breaking in a five-game league losing skid on the road, the undermanned Cyclones pushed the Tigers until the final minute.

Missouri pushed a two-point halftime lead to 52-44 on Kim English's layup with 11:23 left. The Tigers couldn't put the Cyclones away though, as Scott Christopherson hit a pair of 3s and Diante Garrett cut through traffic to tie it up at 58-all with 6:01 left.

Bowers and Ricardo Ratliffe kept Iowa State from taking its first lead with back-to-back inside buckets that put the Tigers up 62-58. The Cyclones scored just once in four minutes after Garrett's layup, allowing Missouri to build up enough of a cushion to survive on.

Ratliffe had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers, who won despite 16 turnovers and 23 percent shooting from 3-point range.

Missouri blew out Iowa State by 33 points when these two teams met in Columbia last month. The Tigers jumped out to a 22-point halftime lead and cruised from there, handing the Cyclones their biggest loss of the year.

Early on, things looked disturbingly similar for Iowa State.

The Tigers hit nine of their first 12 shots and jumped ahead 21-9 just seven minutes in. But Iowa State pulled back within 23-18, keeping the game from getting out of hand.

The energized Cyclones then controlled the tempo over the last 10 minutes of the first half, cutting Missouri's lead to 35-33.

Christopherson and Calvin Godfrey each scored 13 points for Iowa State. The Cyclones played their second straight game without senior forward Jamie Vanderbeken, who sprained his left ankle last week in a loss at top-ranked Kansas.

The absence of Vanderbeken, who is averaging 11.3 points and shooting 43.7 percent from 3-point range, has only made life worse for a team whose lack of depth has been exposed.

The Cyclones, who had just seven scholarship players available Saturday, have only one win in their last 12 games.

Garrett had 12 points and 10 assists, but he didn't start because he was late for a team meeting, Iowa State spokesman Mike Green said. It snapped Garrett's consecutive starts streak at 90 games, which ranks fourth in school history.

Missouri won its third straight game in Ames, the first time it's done so since 1995. That paled in comparison, though, with finally winning a Big 12 road game in 2011.



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