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Missouri 67, No. 3 Oklahoma 52

Updated:
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) _ Oklahoma followed a dominating effort with a dud _ and paid the price.

Missouri's Arthur Johnson had 20 points and 11 rebounds and the third-ranked Sooners shot a season-worst 27 percent in the Tigers' 67-52 victory Wednesday night.

In its previous game, Oklahoma led by 32 points at one point in a 77-70 victory over Kansas on Saturday.

``I don't have any explanation,'' Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson said. ``We just didn't play very well.''

Oklahoma (19-5, 10-3 Big 12) got knocked out of first place in the conference, a game behind Kansas, by a team that has been up and down in recent weeks. Missouri (17-7, 8-5) is 7-6 in the last 13 games and dropped out of the Top 25 last week.

But the Tigers are 14-0 at the Hearnes Center and pulled away late to end a nine-game losing streak against the Sooners. The last victory came in the 1997 Big 12 tournament and coach Quin Snyder had been 0-6 against Oklahoma.

Fans stormed the court after the buzzer to celebrate the victory. Missouri had been 0-5 against ranked teams this season.

``This game was real big,'' Johnson said. ``None of us have ever beaten Oklahoma. In the situation we were in, we had no choice but to go down swinging.''

Defense and ball control were keys for Missouri, which frustrated the Sooners with a zone much of the game and had a season-low five turnovers _ none by the guards. Oklahoma had a scoring drought of more than eight minutes in the first half, falling behind 30-22.

``What's disappointing to me is that Missouri played like this game was more important to them than it was to us,'' Sampson said. ``That was very obvious to me.

``When you get this late in the season, we have to find a way to put this behind us.''

The Tigers also got a big lift from guard Ricky Clemons, playing with a broken left hand. Clemons, who was injured Saturday at Colorado, started with the hand taped and had 13 points and three assists in 38 minutes.

Clemons was cleared to play after testing the injury with 200 shots after the mid-afternoon walkthrough. He played with the hand wrapped to the wrist and the initials ``NPNG,'' standing for ``No pain, no gain,'' etched in marker on the tape.

``It's always going to hurt, because it's broken,'' Clemons said. ``But I'm going to go out there and give it my all because I want to play.''

Clemons surprised Snyder, who had been preparing to start Josh Kroenke and maybe play a bigger lineup. He was 4-for-10 overall, and 3-for-7 from 3-point range.

``I didn't think he was going to play,'' Snyder said. ``But I don't think there was ever really a doubt in his mind that he wanted to go.

``You could see he wasn't able to go to his left as well, but I don't think it bothered his shot.''

Rickey Paulding scored eight of his 14 points in a key second-half sequence after Oklahoma had taken a 37-36 lead with a 13-0 run. Travon Bryant came off the bench to add 14 points, including two dunks in the closing minutes, and Paulding and freshman Jimmy McKinney combined to hold Hollis Price to 16 points on 4-for-12 shooting.

``We saw them coming back, but then we made big shots,'' Paulding said. ``I knew they were big shots.''

Oklahoma couldn't hit anything, going a collective 15-for-55. Ebi Ere was 1-for-11, Quannas White 2-for-12 and the Sooners, who entered the game shooting 54 percent from 3-point range their previous six games, went just 5-for-23 from long range.

Ere, averaging 14.6 points, was held to five points. White, who had 19 points against Kansas, had six.

Oklahoma's previous shooting low was 31.5 percent in a 54-45 loss to Mississippi State Dec. 28 in the Sugar Bowl Classic.

``It happens,'' Price said. ``You go on the road in a hostile environment, and Missouri's not a pushover. They're a team that can beat anybody in this league.

``Their record is deceiving because they can play.''

Clemons had two 3-pointers during an early 13-0 run that gave Missouri a 20-9 lead. Oklahoma missed eight straight shots before Ere ended a drought of 8:40 with a 3-pointer at the 6:10 mark.

Missouri built its early cushion with minimal contribution from Paulding, the team's leading scorer at 16.7 points per game. Paulding scored on a drive for his first points with 3:09 to go, and had four in the half.
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