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Updated: Tuesday, February 18, 2003 11:27 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(22) Missouri 67, Nebraska 50
NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS
Nebraska Cornhuskers
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MISSOURI TIGERS
Missouri Tigers
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COLUMBIA, Missouri (Ticker) -- Ricky Clemons showed plenty of focus on the court.

Clemons scored 17 of his 20 points in the first half as the 22nd-ranked Tigers remained unbeaten at home with a 67-50 Big 12 Conference victory Nebraska.

Hours before the game, Clemons pleaded innocent at a hearing to a felony charge of choking a woman and refusing to let her leave his apartment. He was held out from a game earlier this season for the incident.

On the court, the junior guard let his game do the talking as he made six of his first eight shots, helping the Tigers to a 37-28 lead at the half.

Sparked by Clemons and freshman guard Jimmy McKinney, who flirted with a triple-double, Missouri (16-6, 7-4 Big 12) improved to 13-0 at the Hearnes Center for the first time since also winning its first 13 home games in the 1995-96 season. The Tigers are just 1-4 on the road in conference play.

McKinney finished with nine points, eight assists and eight rebounds and Rickey Paulding added 11 points for the Tigers, who moved within 1 1/2 games of both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State for third place in the conference standings. The Tigers host Oklahoma in eight days.

Paulding became the second Tiger this season to top 1,000 career points, joining junior center Arthur Johnson.

Nate Johnson netted 17 points and Andrew Drevo 14 for Nebraska (9-15, 1-10), which suffered its eighth straight loss. The Cornhuskers are mired in last place in the conference.

Clemons came out firing, scoring the Tigers' first eight points with a pair of 3-pointers and a jumper. He went 6-of-12 from the arc overall, helping Missouri make a season-high 13 3-pointers.

Despite Clemons' hot start, the Cornhuskers still were within 18-15 with just over 12 minutes left in the half on Corey Simms' foul shot.

But Paulding converted a layup, freshman Kevin Young had a basket and Clemons and McKinney drilled 3-pointers in an 11-0 surge. A 3-pointer by Josh Kroenke gave Missouri its biggest lead of the half at 37-22.

The Tigers went 9-of-22 from 3-point range in the first half. They did not attempt their first free throw until Travon Bryant went to the line with 7:32 remaining in the contest.

McKinney opened the second half with a 3-pointer, and the Tigers were in control the rest of the way, leading by at least nine points thereafter.

Nebraska struggled the entire night, shooting just 36.5 percent (19-of-52) while also getting outrebounded by a lopsided 47-31. Missouri was slightly better from the floor, shooting 38.5 percent (25-of-65).


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