COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Marcus Denmon made a clinching three-point play off his steal with 5.8 seconds to go, allowing No. 15 Missouri to hold off Vanderbilt 85-82 on Wednesday night.
Denmon scored all but two of his 21 points after halftime for the Tigers (7-1), who won their 51st consecutive home game against non-conference opponents. Michael Dixon had 15 points and Ricardo Ratliffe had 14 points and nine rebounds.
John Jenkins had 23 points and had five 3-pointers for Vanderbilt (7-2), which had won five straight. Brad Tinsley missed on a long 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
Jeffery Taylor added 18 points and Festus Ezeli had 16 points and six blocked shots for the Commodores, playing their first road game of the season.
Denmon was 1 for 8 early in the second half, then went 6 for 11 the rest of the way as Missouri improved to 4-0 at home this season.
Missouri was held to a season-worst 38 percent shooting from the field. Vanderbilt has yet to allow an opponent to shoot 50 percent, but hurt itself by going only 11 for 22 from the free throw line including 4 for 10 by Ezeli.
Ratliffe hit the second of two free throws with 6.6 seconds left to tie it at 72 near the end of regulation. Tinsley got the last shot for Vanderbilt and was long on a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Jenkins bounced back from a 10-point effort on 1-for-7 shooting against Belmont with his fourth 20-point game out of five.
Vanderbilt’s 54-48 lead with 13 minutes to go was the biggest for either team after Missouri’s early 16-9 lead.
Dixon had seven points in the final 2 1/2 minutes of the first half, capped by a driving layup just before the buzzer to give Missouri a 40-37 lead.
By R.B. Fallstrom
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press