No. 6 Jayhawks to Play Host to Missouri on ESPN's Big Monday

Jan. 14, 2007

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It’s the 256th meeting between Kansas and Missouri in the Border Showdown in men’s basketball on ESPN’s Big Monday. Tip from Allen Fieldhouse is set for 8 p.m. No. 6 Kansas (15-2, 2-0) is riding a season-long nine-game winning streak after its 68-64 overtime win at Iowa State Saturday. Missouri (11-5, 0-3) is looking to snap a three-game Big 12 skid after its 85-81 loss to Kansas State in Columbia Saturday.

About Kansas
Kansas is 2-0 in league play for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons dating back to 1996. The Jayhawks have won nine straight and are 30-4 in their last 34 games. Kansas averages 77.1 points per game and is giving up 58.1. KU is shooting 48.6 percent from the field and holding opponents to 36.9 percent. KU is 14-1 when shooting better than its opponents. On the boards, KU is outrebounding foes 40 to 32.6. Sophomore preseason All-American guard Brandon Rush leads the team in scoring with 13.5 points per game and 30 three-pointers made. He is second on the team with a 5.6 rebound average. Sophomore guard Mario Chalmers is next in scoring at 12.3 points per game and leads KU in steals with 49 and is second in assists with 62. Freshman forward reserve Darrell Arthur is scoring 11.8 points per game and leads the team with 35 blocked shots. Sophomore forward Julian Wright has four games with 12 rebounds this season and paces KU on the boards with an 8.1 average to go along with his 11.4 scoring average. Juniors Russell Robinson (guard) and Sasha Kaun (center) round out the KU starters. Kaun is scoring 6.6 points per game and leads the team with a 58.2 field goal percentage. Robinson is scoring 6.1 points per outing and leads the team in assists with 77. Junior Darnell Jackson and freshman guard Sherron Collins join Arthur as top reserves. Collins is scoring 7.7 points per outing and Jackson averages 6.2 points and 4.9 rebounds.

About Missouri
Missouri (11-5, 0-3) has lost three straight with two of those games by four points or less – 66-65 to Iowa State and 85-81 versus Kansas State. The Tigers have lost five of their last seven games but have quality victories against Arkansas and Mississippi State. The Tigers average 78.9 points and are giving up 68.9. MU utilizes a suffocating full-court defense that has forced 347 turnovers in 15 games for an average of almost 21.7 per contest. Junior guard Stefhon Hannah leads Missouri in scoring with 15.4 points per game. His 55 steals lead the Big 12 and he also paces the team in assists with 77. Sophomore forward Matt Lawrence is next in scoring at 11.8 points per game. He leads the Tigers with 45 three-point field goals and is making 50.6 percent from beyond the arc. Junior forward Marshall Brown is scoring 11 points per contest after his 28 against Kansas State Saturday. Junior center Kalen Grimes leads the team in rebounding with six boards per game and 19 blocked shots. Junior guard Jason Horton rounds out the starters. He is scoring 4.9 points per game and is second on the team with 56 assists.

The Series
Kansas leads the all-time series with Missouri, 162-93. KU has won five of the last seven meetings and 10 of the past 13 match-ups with MU yet the Tigers have won two of the last three. Missouri’s wins during that run have been two nail biters at Mizzou Arena. Kansas is 82-33 against Missouri in Lawrence, 36-14 in Allen Fieldhouse and has won the last seven matchups in Allen Fieldhouse. Since the inception of the Big 12, KU holds a 15-8 series advantage – 13-7 in regular-season play and 2-1 in the conference championship. Tonight will mark the 34th KU-MU game with one or both of the teams ranked. The Jayhawks lost the first-ever meeting with Missouri, 34-31, on March 11, 1907, in Lawrence.

Up Next
Kansas hits the road for two games at Texas Tech on Jan. 20 and Baylor on Jan. 24. The Texas Tech game tips from United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas, at 3 p.m. and can be seen on ESPN. The Baylor contest will start at 7 p.m. from the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas, and will be televised on Jayhawk TV.