Missouri men's basketball beats Illinois 78-74

Thursday, December 22, 2011 | 10:18 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — It was the closest game of the season for the Missouri men's basketball team, but the result was the same. A win.

Missouri beat Illinois 78-74 on Thursday at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, earning its third straight win against the Fighting Ilini. 

The lead changed eight times in the final 10 minutes, but Missouri was able to end the game on a 10-4 run to secure the victory.

Michael Dixon led the scoring for the Tigers with 18 points. Matt Pressey, Phil Pressey and Ricardo Ratliffe each had 14 points.

Ratliffe was clutch, scoring six points in the final four minutes. Michael Dixon also made a big 3-pointer to put Missouri up 73-70, a lead which it did not lose.

Missouri is now 12-0 for the first time since the 1981-82 season when it started 19-0. That team went on to win a Big Eight championship.

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