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Missouri men's basketball holds at No. 4 in rankings; Denmon named player of the week

Monday, February 6, 2012 | 2:02 p.m. CST; updated 9:28 p.m. CST, Monday, February 6, 2012
Missouri's Marcus Denmon tries to shoot past Kansas' Kevin Young in the Tigers' 74-71 victory Saturday at Mizzou Arena. Denmon led Missouri with 29 points, including a 6-of-9 effort from the 3-point line.

COLUMBIA — After its dramatic comeback win against Kansas on Saturday, the Missouri men's basketball team remained ranked No. 4 in Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches' polls.

The top six remained the same in both polls with Kentucky, Syracuse and Ohio State ranked ahead of Missouri. Kansas moved up one spot to No. 7 in the AP poll, and moved down two spots to No. 10 in the Coaches' poll.

Missouri guard Marcus Denmon was named Big 12 Player of the Week on Monday for his heroic performance on Saturday. With Missouri trailing by eight, Denmon scored nine unanswered points in the final two and a half minutes of the game. He finished the game with 29 points and led the team with nine rebounds.

Denmon fueled Missouri's comeback in front of a loud sold-out crowd.

"I don't think I've been in a building as loud as that building was on Saturday night," Missouri coach Frank Haith said in a Monday teleconference.

With an 8-2 conference record, Missouri (21-2) currently sits in a three-way tie for first place in the Big 12 with Kansas (17-5) and No. 6 Baylor (21-2). The Tigers beat Baylor by one on the road on Jan. 21 and is set for a rematch with the Bears at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Mizzou Arena. They face Kansas again on Feb. 25 in Lawrence.

Baylor and Kansas play each other at 6 p.m. on Wednesday in Waco. The Jayhawks won the first meeting on Jan. 16 in Lawrence.

"We all know it's gonna be a close race," Baylor coach Scott Drew said Monday. "Every game is a war."

Missouri is riding the momentum of its big win against Kansas into a road game against Oklahoma (13-9, 3-7) at 6 p.m. Monday. The Tigers beat Oklahoma 87-49 on Jan. 3, but they are not letting that score give them too much confidence.

"I think our guys understand this is a good ball club, and we gotta come out and play," Haith said.

Oklahoma has two wins against Kansas State — who beat Missouri by 16 — this season.


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