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12-4

Missouri-Iowa St. Preview

AP - Sports

Unable to get things going in front of a raucous crowd, Missouri suffered its first loss over the weekend.

Despite beating up on Iowa State of late, the ninth-ranked Tigers could be in for more of the same when they visit the surging Cyclones on Wednesday night.

After outscoring opponents by an average of 25.3 points in opening 14-0 for the first time since 1981-82, Missouri's prolific offense was held in check during Saturday's 75-59 loss at then-No. 23 Kansas State.

The Tigers (14-1, 1-1 Big 12), who rank in the top five nationally with a 51.0 field-goal percentage and are among the highest-scoring teams in the country at 84.4 points per game, were held to season worsts of 32.7 percent shooting and 14 turnovers.

Senior Marcus Denmon scored 17 and shot 5 of 14 while big man Ricardo Ratliffe, averaging 13.3 points on a Division-I best 76.9 percent shooting, was limited by foul trouble and finished with two points.

"A lot of it we feel that it was stuff we did," said Denmon, who leads the conference with an average of 18.7 points. "We were not efficient with our cuts and getting open for the point guards. It is something that we are going to have to work on."

Missouri has outscored Iowa State (12-3, 2-0) by an average of 14.4 points during its seven-game run in the series. Winning in Ames, however, hasn't proved easy, as the Tigers have gone 7 of 32 (21.9 percent) from 3-point range in prevailing by a total of eight points during their last two visits to Hilton Coliseum.

The Cyclones, trying to open 3-0 in Big 12 play for the second time in school history, carry plenty of momentum into Wednesday's showdown. Three days after beating Texas 77-71, Iowa State extended its season-best winning streak to seven with a 74-50 rout of Texas A&M on the road Saturday.

"Going into that Texas game I knew we were going to play well. It was a very business-like approach going into that game, and then we followed that up here. I expect it again these next couple of days leading in to Missouri," coach Fred Hoiberg said.

Versatile forward Royce White, who leads the Cyclones with 12.9 points per game, had 10 points and season highs of 18 rebounds and 10 assists for his first career triple-double Saturday.

"We've just been talking about the whole time that we had to come in and get this win. We felt as if it were a must win among the players," White said.

"I don't know how the coaches felt but we felt it was a must win, and we needed to make a statement right here at the start of the Big 12 and let other teams know we're serious and you're going to be in for a dog fight when you play us."

In their only matchup versus a ranked foe this season, the Cyclones fell 76-66 at then-No. 14 Michigan on Dec. 3 despite 22 points and 13 boards from White.

Iowa State has dropped 28 of 29 meetings against Top 25 opponents, the last seven by an average of 15.0 points.

The Cyclones haven't posted eight consecutive victories since a 10-game run Jan. 16-Feb. 21, 2001, and their only 3-0 start in the Big 12 came when they won their first four in 1999-00.

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