COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The first 20 minutes is just the warmup act for 17th-ranked Missouri. The real game starts in the second half, when the Tigers' frenetic full-court press has a way of eventually wearing down people.
DeMarre Carroll and reserve Matt Lawrence had 13 points apiece and Missouri hit seven of its first nine shots after the break, pulling away for a 70-47 victory over cold-shooting Nebraska on Saturday. During a five-game winning streak, the Tigers have been outscored by six points in the first half while outscoring opponents by 66 the rest of the way.
Nebraska (15-8, 5-5) shot only 28.6 percent, close to the Cornhuskers' worst of the year at 28.9 percent in a loss at Arizona State, and was hounded into a season-worst 20 turnovers.
"If you've watched us throughout the year, we're more of a second-half team," coach Mike Anderson said. "We had one of those spurts, and boy, I'll tell you what, if you could bottle it up you'd win all the time."
J.T. Tiller added 11 points and four assists and Marcus Denmon had 10 points for Missouri (22-4, 9-2 Big 12), which won its 17th in a row at home and eventually capitalized on momentum built from a two-point victory over No. 16 Kansas five days earlier.
But only after shaking off 33 percent first-half shooting while trying too hard to impress a sellout crowd.
Missouri shot 24 percent over the first 20 minutes against the Jayhawks on Monday, and players said after both games they've been somewhat intimidated by boisterous crowds.
"Our fans are coming out now. They're doing a great job and we're all ready to go," Lawrence said. "But sometimes it works the opposite and you try to get it so hard and it doesn't come. So we've just got to go out there like we did in the second half and let the game come to us."
The Tigers have won nine of 10 overall since losing by five points in the Big 12 opener at Nebraska on Jan. 10, and unlike the first meeting they dictated the tempo in the rematch. The Huskers had an 18-point lead in the first half in Lincoln, Neb.
"They just beat us in every area, especially coaching," coach Doc Sadler said. "That's the first time we've had a meltdown all year."
It was probably no coincidence it happened at Missouri, which has an average margin of 26.7 points during the homecourt winning streak.
"I told the coaches before the game it's going to go down to the last three or four minutes or it's going to be a blowout," Sadler said. "That's just because you're on the road and the way they play."
Leo Lyons, shut out in the first half of both Nebraska games, finished with nine points and 10 rebounds while going only 1-for-2 from the field.
The Tigers blocked six shots, half of them by reserve Keith Ramsey.
Brandon Richardson had 12 points for Nebraska, which flopped in an attempt to win four straight in the Big 12 for the first time since 1999. Nebraska had won its previous two on the road and was playing for the first time since beating Texas at home a week earlier.
Ade Dagunduro and Sek Henry added 11 points apiece for the Huskers, who entered with the best defense in the Big 12; Missouri has the best scoring offense.
Lawrence, who lost his starting spot after the loss at Nebraska, scored in double figures for the first time in five games.
Lyons, Missouri's second-leading scorer with a 14.5 average, got going with a pair of free throws to open the second half. Missouri was also 3-for-4 from 3-point range in the opening eight minutes after the break to open a 48-31 gap.
Both teams had extended stretches between baskets in the first half, Nebraska going 6:07 with only two free throws while falling behind 18-11. Missouri was 0-for-6 with no points and three turnovers over 5:37 yet didn't surrender the lead, eventually going ahead 21-17 on Lawrence's 3-pointer with 2:15 to go and taking a 25-19 lead into the break.
Nebraska shot only 26.1 percent for the half, topping its season low by a single point. Missouri wasn't much better at 33 percent, the teams combining to go 16-for-53.
|Missouri #17 (22-4) «||25||45||70|
|NE:Brandon Richardson 12 Pts
NE:Chris Balham 7 Reb
NE:Brandon Richardson 2 Ast
|MO:M. Lawrence 13 Pts
MO:L. Lyons 10 Reb
MO:J. Tiller 4 Ast
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|PLAYERS OF THE GAME|
|A. Dagunduro, G||28||4-9||3-6||7||1||3||11|
|S. Henry, G||26||2-5||6-8||4||1||1||11|
|C. Miller, G||22||1-6||0-0||0||0||2||2|
|S. Harley, G||18||0-4||0-0||1||1||2||0|
|C. Balham, F||17||1-3||0-0||7||0||2||2|
|R. Anderson, G||21||2-6||0-0||0||0||2||6|
|B. Richardson, G||20||3-5||4-6||4||2||2||12|
|P. Velander, G||18||1-4||0-0||1||1||1||3|
|T. McCray, G||17||0-5||0-0||3||1||0||0|
|N. Krenk, G||6||0-1||0-0||0||1||0||0|
|B. Nelson, F||3||0-0||0-0||1||0||0||0|
|A. Edwards, F||3||0-1||0-0||2||0||0||0|
|C. Salomon, G||1||0-0||0-0||0||0||0||0|
|E. Jones, G||Did Not Play|
|C. Niemann, C||Did Not Play|
|M. Karn, G||Did Not Play|
|R. Ferrarini, G||Did Not Play|
|A. Wicklund, G||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|
|D. Carroll, F||26||4-10||3-4||3||1||1||13|
|L. Lyons, F||23||1-2||7-8||10||2||1||9|
|Z. Taylor, G||20||1-5||0-0||6||3||3||2|
|K. English, G||17||0-5||0-0||2||1||1||0|
|J. Tiller, G||16||5-7||0-0||2||4||3||11|
|M. Denmon, G||26||4-8||0-0||3||4||2||10|
|M. Lawrence, G||22||5-10||0-1||1||0||0||13|
|K. Ramsey, F||16||2-2||1-2||4||0||1||5|
|M. Paul, G||14||2-5||0-0||1||0||3||5|
|L. Bowers, F||7||1-2||0-0||1||2||2||2|
|M. Anderson Jr., G||5||0-1||0-0||1||1||0||0|
|J. Safford, F||5||0-2||0-2||2||0||0||0|
|S. Moore, C||3||0-0||0-0||0||0||1||0|
|J. Sutton, G||Did Not Play|
|Complete Box Score|