Columbia, MO (Sports Network) - Marcus Denmon scored a career-high 31 points as the 13th-ranked Missouri Tigers routed the Northwestern State Demons, 90-56, on Friday.
Ricardo Ratliffe scored 22 points and Michael Dixon chipped in 19 points for the Tigers (7-0), who are off to their best start since the 2006-07 season when they began the year 9-0.
James Hulbin netted 14 points and grabbed six boards for Northwestern State (4-4), which had its two-game winning streak snapped.
The Tigers jumped off to a quick 29-6 start after an 18-0 run, which was capped by a three-point play from Dixon.
Dixon and Denmon each scored 16 points in the opening 20 minutes as Missouri cruised to a commanding 57-31 halftime advantage.
"This was the first time in a while where we had a few days off before the game and we had a chance to get our legs underneath us," said Missouri head coach Frank Haith. "You could see our guys really execute well at the start of the ball game."
The onslaught continued in the second half as the Tigers finished the game shooting 55 percent from the field.
Missouri outscored Northwestern State 50-22 in the paint, 24-6 in points off turnovers and 26-12 in second-chance points.
The Demons on the other hand shot just 34 percent for the game.
"There are a lot of great numbers in this game," said Haith, "but the one that stood out the most is 50 points in the paint. And even though we shoot the ball well, balance is extremely important for us, especially in our ability to play inside out. The paint production is really important to our success."
These teams last played in 2005 with Missouri also prevailing, 81-72...The Tigers hit the court next on Tuesday in New York City as they square off against Villanova in the Jimmy V Classic.
12/02 23:57:33 ET