Monarchs Come Up Short Against No. 8 Missouri 75-68
By ODU Athletics
Dec. 30, 2011
Post-Game Press Conference:
NORFOLK, Va. - Kent Bazemore led Old Dominion with 16 points and Trian Iliadis had a career high tying 15. But, Marcus Denmon scored 17 of his 19 points after halftime and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 61 seconds to play Friday night as No. 8 Missouri survived a scare against Old Dominion with a 75-68 victory in front of a sellout crowd of 8,460 at Ted Constant Convocation Center.
Kim English added 16 points for the Tigers (13-0), who continued their best start since opening 19-0 in 1981-82. They got all they could handle in their first true road game under first-year coach Frank Haith from the Colonial Athletic Association power.
Old Dominion (6-7) was spurred on by a raucous sellout crowd and able to match the Tigers physically. The game was tied 67-all before Denmon hit his fourth 3-pointer with 1:01 to go. He added both ends of a one-and-one with 42 seconds left to make it 72-67.
Denmon, who missed all three of his 3-point attempts in the first half, hit four after the break - three in the first 3 minutes - as the Tigers came out of the locker room with a 20-9 run.
But Old Dominion rallied to finally draw even with 5:54 left, and it went to the wire.
Michael Dixon's driving layup and free throw gave the Tigers a 63-62 lead with 3:16 to play, but Chris Cooper hit a jumper over Steve Moore and was fouled with 2:43 to play. He made the shot and the free throw, and the Monarchs were back in front 65-63 heading into a timeout.
Ratliffe was fouled while scoring inside at the other end, but missed the free throw. The back-and-forth scoring continued with Bazemore scoring on a layup from the right side for the Monarchs before Ratliffe tied it again from the inside. The Tigers made a steal, but Old Dominion stole it back.
Bazemore's driving shot came up short for the Monarchs before Denmon nailed his fourth 3-pointer.
Once he added the free throws, the Tigers held on.
The Tigers came out sizzling in the second half, hitting four 3-pointers in the first 3 minutes - three by Denmon and one by English - before 5-foot-10 Phil Pressey capped a 20-9 burst with a steal and two-handed dunk, giving the Tigers a 53-44 lead.
Missouri scored on its first eight possessions of the half, then got nothing on its next seven as Old Dominion stiffened on defense and scored the next seven points.
Iliadis hit a 3-pointer to make it 53-51 with 12 minutes to go, and after the teams traded baskets, Missouri was whistled for a 5-second violation after failing to inbound the ball.
Denmon made 3 of 4 free throws over the next 1 1/2 minutes to boost the Tigers' lead to 58-53, but Iliadis made a 3-pointer from the right corner and then stole the ball near midcourt. He raced down for a tying layup with 5:45 to play, and it got deafening inside the Constant Center.
A tip by Ratliffe for the Tigers was answered by Dimitri Batten's floater, and after a bad shot by Phil Pressey, Batten fed Bazemore for a dunk that put Old Dominion back in front.
The first half was just a sign of what was to come.
An early 9-2 run gave Missouri a 13-9 lead, but Old Dominion responded with a 10-2 burst finished by Donte Hill's putback and a basket by Chris Cooper. That made it 23-19, and the game remained close the rest of the half with the Monarchs taking a 35-33 lead into the locker room.
The Tigers, who came in second nationally shooting nearly 52 percent, were just 12 for 27 in the half and were outrebounded 20-15. They also missed seven of 15 free throws.
For the game Missouri shot .481 (26-54) from the floor, while ODU was .435 (27-62). The Monarchs outrebounded the Tigers, 41-31 as Chris Cooper led with 11 rebounds and now has eight double-doubles thus far this season. Nick Wright and Kent Bazemore had five rebounds each. Ricardo Ratliffe hauled down 11 rebounds as well for Mizzou who is the second highest ranked team to play in the Constant Center.
Phil Pressey dished out a game high seven assists for Missouri and joined his brother Phil and marcus Denmon with three steals each. Bazemore led ODU with five assists, while Trian Iliadis led with three steals. red-shirt freshmen guard Dimitri Batten blocked three shots for ODU tonight.
The sellout was the 21st in the Constant Center which opened up in 2002, and the 31st of 8,000 or more.
The Monarchs return to action Monday at 3 p.m. when the open up CAA play at James Madison.