Freshman Denmon leads Missouri past Iowa State - KMOV.com

Freshman Denmon leads Missouri past Iowa State

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- In the two games since Marcus Denmon missed a 3-point attempt that would have tied Nebraska with about two seconds to go in a loss at Nebraska to open Big 12 play, the Missouri freshman has been deadly from long range.

Timely, too. Denmon scored a personal-best 16 points with a season-best four 3-pointers, including three straight to help the Tigers pull away from Iowa State in the second half of a 77-46 victory on Saturday.

"That's what Marcus is, he's a scorer," coach Mike Anderson said. "They packed their defense in and eventually you're going to knock some shots down."

Denmon was 4-for-6 from 3-point range and is 7-for-11 the last two games from long range for the Tigers (15-3, 2-1 Big 12), who won their 13th straight at home to tie the Mizzou Arena record. Zaire Taylor added 15 points and Leo Lyons had 12 points and eight rebounds off the bench.

"Well, I'm always confident when I go out there," Denmon said. "Whether I make it or I miss it, I always go out with confidence. It's something our coach tells us: If you get a good shot, take it."

Lyons was announced as a starter after serving a one-game suspension for the conference home-opening victory over Colorado on Wednesday after a minor scrape with the law. But about a minute before tip-off, it was announced that Taylor would replace him in the lineup.

Anderson blamed the public address announcer for the mix-up, although the scoreboard also listed Lyons as a starter. After two straight routs without Lyons in the lineup, including a 107-62 win over Colorado on Wednesday, Anderson said he'd stick with Lyons coming off the bench for now.

"I don't know what happened, but I think our guys knew who was going to be on the floor," Anderson said.

Players didn't seem that impressed with the margin of victory the last two games.

"Honestly, it doesn't surprise me," Taylor said. "I wouldn't say I expect it every game, but it doesn't surprise me when we win by that much."

Missouri shot 52 percent from 3-point range, hitting a season-best 13 in only 25 attempts. Freshman Kim English was 3-for-4 and Keith Ramsey was 2-for-2. The Tigers shot 45 percent overall.

Iowa State coach Greg McDermott said his game plan centered on controlling Lyons and DeMarre Carroll, who had nine points and nine rebounds.

"When you have two guys as talented as Carroll and Lyons, you have to give them something because those guys are really good one-on-one," McDermott said. "We tried to get it out of their hands some and, to Missouri's credit, they made us pay for it."

Justin Hamilton had 13 points and Diante Garrett 11 for Iowa State (12-6, 1-2), which had won five of its previous six. Craig Brackins was held to 10 points and seven rebounds after three consecutive 20-point, 10-rebound games.

"They ran two guys at him most of the time, especially when he was within 10 or 12 feet of the basket," McDermott said. "Craig has to make a decision.

"At times he was aggressive and would try to make plays and other time he passed out and made some assists, but they had a good plan and they executed it."

Missouri was 9-for-11 from the field to start the second half, including 5-for-5 from 3-point range with three by Denmon, to take a commanding 53-30 lead with just over 11 minutes to play. Denmon's attempt at a fourth straight 3-pointer rolled out near the midway point of the second half.

Missouri offset 29 percent shooting in the first half by forcing 10 turnovers, leading by as many as 12 points and taking a 29-20 cushion into the break.

Taylor, who wasn't in the starting lineup until just before the opening tip-off, had nine points in the half. He totaled two points the last two games.

The game drew announced attendance of 12,403, by far a season best for Missouri.

"I want to say thanks to the people that came out," Anderson said. "They made a big difference. It got pretty loud and our guys, they feed off that."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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