Luke Meredith, Associated Press
Missouri's Matt Pressey is fouled by Iowa State forward Melvin Ejim (3) while driving to the basket Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012, in Ames, Iowa. Pressey scored 14 points as Missouri won 76-69. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
AMES, Iowa (AP) – Matt Pressey led six players in double figures with 14 points and No. 9 Missouri bounced back from its first loss of the season by beating Iowa State 76-69 on Wednesday night.
Phil Pressey and Ricardo Ratliffe each added 12 points for the Tigers (15-1, 2-1 Big 12), who won their eighth straight against the Cyclones dating to 2008.
Missouri pushed a four-point lead to 72-66 on Ratliffe’s hook shot with 32 seconds left. Iowa State’s Chris Allen responded with a quick 3, but Marcus Denmon nailed four straight free throws to put the Cyclones away.
Scott Christopherson had 19 points and Allen scored 17 for Iowa State (12-4, 2-1), which lost for the first time in eight games.
This was an early league test of Missouri’s mettle after the Tigers were taken apart by Kansas State.
Missouri, the Big 12′s best 3-point shooting team so far, shot just 29 percent from long range in its 75-59 loss at Kansas State last weekend. The Tigers again struggled from beyond the arc, hitting just four of their first 19 tries. But they took a slight edge early in the second half by dominating the boards—despite having only two big men in the rotation in Ratliffe and Steve Moore—and converting their opportunities from inside.
Consecutive jumpers by Kim English and Denmon put the Tigers up 53-48 midway through the second half. Phil Pressey then drilled a crucial 3 from the corner and Dixon hit an easy layup off a turnover to make it 66-58 Missouri with 4:52 to go.
Iowa State’s Royce White was fired up from the tip, screaming in Ratliffe’s face after the opening basket. But White seemed a little too amped up because he picked up two fouls in the first 5 minutes.
The Cyclones withstood White’s foul trouble in the first half thanks to eight 3s in 12 tries — capped by Christopherson’s half-court heave that rattled home at the buzzer to give Iowa State a 38-36 lead.
White finished with 16 points and six rebounds as the Cyclones were outrebounded 38-27 and hit just four 3s in the second half.
Though the Tigers finished below 30 percent from 3-point range for the second game in a row, they had just enough to get past the streaking Cyclones.
The Tigers return to their home court on Saturday, facing Texas at noon at Mizzou Arena.