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Missouri holds off West Virginia to improve to 8-0

Tigers extend home winning streak to 23 games, as they prepare to welcome No. 18 UCLA.

FOR 34 minutes, Missouri shut down West Virginia's prolific three-point offense. Then the Tigers lost their focus, according to guard Jordan Clarkson.

Missouri won, 80-71, last night, but only after surviving a late 17-5 run by the Mountaineers. The scare gives the Tigers (8-0) something to work on as they welcome 18th-ranked UCLA to Mizzou Arena tomorrow.

"I think we allowed them to get into the paint," coach Frank Haith said. "We gave up some broken plays where we weren't back setting our defense. They had some plays where we bobbled some loose rebounds, and they stuck it in."

Clarkson scored 25 points and Jabari Brown added 18 to help Missouri win in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Missouri shot 53 percent from the floor, but its defense limited West Virginia to making 42 percent of its shots. The Mountaineers entered the game averaging 85.1 points and shooting nearly 50 percent, but only made eight of 29 shots in the first half.

Missouri (8-0) extended its national-best homecourt winning streak to 23 games and has won 78 consecutive games at Mizzou Arena against nonconference competition.

Juwan Staten scored 16 points, while Gary Browne and Terry Henderson added 14 for West Virginia (6-3).

Missouri scored the first nine points and led throughout as West Virginia never established a rhythm until the end of the night. The Mountaineers also averaged 10 three-pointers per game before yesterday, but converted only one of their first 14 attempts until Browne's make with 7:51 remaining. They finished 4-for-19.

In other games

* At Oklahoma, Buddy Hield scored 18 points, Isaiah Cousins added 12 and the Sooners (7-1) pulled away for a 78-56 victory over Texas A & M-Corpus Christi in a matinee that was rescheduled to start earlier because of concerns over bad weather.

* At Virginia Commonwealth, Treveon Graham scoreed 15 points and Melvin Johnson had a critical free throw with 14.2 seconds to go as the Rams (7-2) held off Eastern Kentucky, 71-68.

* At San Diego, Xavier Thames has 17 points and Josh Davis had 10 points and 15 rebounds as No. 24 San Diego State (6-1) held off its crosstown rival, 65-64.