Denmon scores 22, No. 10 Missouri defeats Navy
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP)
The Tigers (9-0) matched their best start since the 2006-07 season and posted their 64th straight home victory against nonconference opponents.
Ricardo Ratliffe made 6 of 9 shots and added 14 points for Missouri.
J.J. Avila scored 26 points for Navy (3-8). The Midshipmen took a 5-0 lead at the outset but trailed 45-26 by halftime.
This was the first matchup between the teams since the first round of the 1994 NCAA tournament, when the top-seeded Tigers defeated the No. 16 Midshipmen 76-53. Missouri leads 3-0 overall in the series.
Down early, Missouri went on a 16-3 run to take the lead. The Tigers finished the first half with a 27-11 burst.
Navy entered the game making 51 percent of shots from inside the arc, compared to 29 percent on 3-point attempts. But the Midshipmen seemed flustered by Missouri's defensive pressure, settling for 14 shot attempts from 3-point range out of 27 overall field goal attempts.
Size may have contributed to Navy's trouble as Missouri was actually the taller team on the court despite starting four guards. The Tigers used that advantage en route to grabbing a 40-29 advantage in rebounds and scoring 36 points in the paint.
Navy was able to grab more inside looks in the second half, including a 24-7 run near the end.
Having already played 11 games, the Midshipmen now get a break, playing only two games in the next three weeks. Their next game is Dec. 22 at Presbyterian.