COLUMBIA, Mo. — After handing No. 3 Missouri one of its two losses of the season three weeks ago in Stillwater, Oklahoma State expected a significantly better effort from the Tigers in their rematch Wednesday night.
It got one, too.
Marcus Denmon scored 17 points and was joined by four teammates in double figures as the Tigers avenged that earlier defeat with an 83-65 rout of the Cowboys. Missouri (24-2, 11-2) led by 22 points at halftime and by as many as 35 well into the second half before a late run fueled by Keiton Page made the final score a tad more respectable.
“We weren't aggressive,” Cowboys forward Le'Bryan Nash said. “Our offense wasn't flowing well in the first half. They're the No. 3 team in the country, so when they're hitting shots, they're not going to stop hitting them. I'll give credit where credit is due, they're probably one of the best teams in the country.”
Page led Oklahoma State (12-14, 5-8) with 23 points, but 14 of those came in the game's final 7 minutes once the outcome wasn't in doubt. He hit 5 of 9 attempts from beyond the arc.
Missouri held Nash to 11 points after he torched the Tigers for 27 in a seven-point win in January. Nash sat out 5 minutes early in the first half after picking up two quick fouls.
“It did frustrate me a lot,” Nash said. “As soon as I got that second foul, as soon as I went out, they went on their run. I fell like it was partly my fault because I got stupid fouls. If I would've stayed in the game, it would have probably been a different game.”
Missouri started slow, making just one of its first six shots as the Cowboys took an early 4-point lead. But the Tigers soon found their shooting touch and it fueled a 23-4 run over 9 minutes in first half that helped Missouri put the game away.
OSU coach Travis Ford attributed his team's lackluster interior presence to Missouri's defense.
“I was disappointed we didn't get the ball inside enough,” he said. “That's one thing you try to work on.
Wednesday's box score: Missouri 83, OSU 65