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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Johnathan Williams III grabbed a career-high 17 rebounds and Earnest Ross scored 17 points to lead Missouri past Gardner-Webb 72-63 on Saturday.

Missouri (4-0) only led by two points at halftime and foul troubles hampered its effort to pull away from the Runnin' Bulldogs, who were picked to finish second in the South Division of the Big South.

The Tigers won their 76th consecutive game at home against a nonconference opponent and their 21st in a row overall at Mizzou Arena.

Naji Hibbert and Jerome Hill both scored 17 points for Gardner-Webb (2-3).

The game marked the opening of the Las Vegas Invitational for both teams, who had never faced each other prior to Saturday. Although the matchup had no impact on the outcome of the tournament, both schools will travel to Nevada for games on Thanksgiving.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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