COLUMBIA – In front of Baylor’s first-ever advance-sell-out crowd of 10,617 at Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas, on Saturday, No. 5 Missouri handed No. 3 Baylor its second consecutive loss of the season, beating the Bears 89-88.
Ricardo Ratliffe broke his previous career high of 22 points, scoring 27, grabbing eight rebounds and adding two blocks for the Tigers.
Missouri (18-1, 5-1 Big 12)
at Oklahoma State (9-10, 2-4 Big 12)
WHEN: 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, Okla.
RADIO: KTGR/ 1580 AM, 100.5 FM; KCMQ 96.7 FM
“He was outstanding,” Missouri head coach Frank Haith said of Ratliffe in a radio interview. “He finished, he made his free throws, he rebounded. He had a tremendous game.”
With 10 minutes left in the second half, Missouri went on an 11-2 run to stretch its lead to 71-60, and Ratliffe was responsible for eight of those points.
With less than 30 seconds left in the game, Kim English fouled Baylor's Quincy Miller on a layup that made it 85-81. Miller made his free throw to complete the 3-point play to pull Baylor within three.
On the ensuing inbound, senior guard Marcus Denmon launched the ball over the half-court line, and, for a moment, the ball looked as if it were going to trickle out of bounds, which could have given Baylor one last chance at a comeback. But the speedy Phil Pressey sprinted after the ball and caught it with two Baylor players on his heels. A.J. Waltonfouled Pressey intentionally with 22 seconds left. Pressey, who finished with 18 points, missed his first shot but drained his second attempt to give Missouri a two-possession lead. Pressey shot only 50 percent from the line.
“From folks looking at our ball club, our basketball IQ has gotten better and better," Haith said. "We talk about it all the time. We get to that one-and-one, it’s now time to be aggressive, not to settle and put the ball on people, and we did that.”
Pressey had a game-high seven assists and six steals for the Tigers who were able to convert those steals into six points. Denmon added 15 points and three rebounds, helping Missouri outrebound Baylor 32-26.
“I thought we did a great job on the backboard against a team that’s very athletic and very lengthy,” Haith said.
With the win, Missouri improves to 18-1 on the season and 5-1 in conference play and will move to second in the Big 12, just behind Kansas, which has a 6-0 conference record.
“I thought our guys showed tremendous, tremendous toughness throughout that ball game,” Haith said. “We executed very well offensively, and defensively, we were good enough.”