On Monday night, the #4 Missouri Tigers (22-2, 9-2) went on the road to Norman and got away with a 71-68 win over the Oklahoma Sooners (13-10, 3-8) to move into sole possession of first place in Big 12 Conference.
Earlier this season in Columbia, the Tigers had handled the Sooners by an 87-49 margin. Monday was a different day, but the outcome still goes into the win column for Missouri.
"It's not easy to win on the road," said Missouri Head Coach Frank Haith, following his team's laborious effort. "We'll take it any way we can get it."
Less than 48 hours after he scored 29 points against Kansas, Marcus Denmon showed up big for the Tigers at Oklahoma, with 25 points, to lead all scorers.
Ricardo Ratliffe scored 15 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, for his fourth double-double of the season.
"(Ratliffe) was pretty good," said Coach Haith. "He took good shots, and he rebounded the ball for us."
Mike Dixon chipped in with 13 points for Missouri, who registered 19 assists on 27 made baskets.
For the Sooners, 6'4" junior guard Steven Pledger scored 22 points, but missed a 3-PT shot at the final buzzer that would have extended the contest.
Missouri wasn't sharp, playing on the road less than 48 hours after a hard-fought and emotional win over Kansas on Saturday night. But the Tigers didn't allow the letdown to cost them in the conference race.
Oklahoma out-rebounded Missouri by a 36-22 margin, and outscored the Tigers 12-7 on second-chance points.
"We didn't rebound the ball well all night," explained Coach Haith. "(Oklahoma) really hurt us on the boards."
But in the end, Missouri prevailed on the scoreboard, largely the result of a 28-12 points-in-the-paint advantage.
"This team should be very proud of where we are," said Coach Haith. "I don't want them feeling bad about a tough road win. It was a great win for us, and I want our guys to keep their heads up, and let's continue to get better."