Kansas Hits Road to Face Border Showdown Foe Missouri in Men's Hoops

Jan. 15, 2006

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Kansas (10-5, 1-1) looks to get back to its winning ways when it travels to Border Showdown foe Missouri for ESPN’s Big Monday. Tip from Mizzou Arena is set for 6 p.m., which is two hours earlier than the normal Big 12 time slot on Big Monday. KU had its seven-game winning streak snapped by Kansas State 59-55 on Saturday. Missouri (9-5, 2-1) had a five-game winning streak and eight-game home winning skein broke Saturday by Colorado, 74-71. Kansas leads the 2005-06 Border Showdown standings with Missouri, 8.5 to 2.5.

About Kansas
Winners of seven of its last eight games, Kansas is currently 10-5 and 1-1 in Big 12 play after losing to Kansas State, 59-55, Saturday. KU has lost four of its five games this season by four points or less. The Jayhawks won their first true road game of the season at Colorado Wednesday, 75-63. Kansas is averaging 73.9 points per game and giving up 58.4. Last week, the Jayhawks led the nation in field goal percentage defense and is currently holding opponents to a 35.4 clip. Rookie guard Brandon Rush leads the team and the Big 12 freshmen class in scoring at 13 points per game. Rush is making 50 percent of his three-pointers (20-for-40) and is averaging 5.3 rebounds per game. Sophomore center Sasha Kaun is next in scoring at 10.1 points per game and leads the team with a 6.5 rebounding average. Freshman guard Mario Chalmers is next in scoring at 7.9 after his career-high 20 points against Kansas State Saturday. Chalmers leads KU with 50 assists and 35 steals in 2005-06. Sophomore center C.J. Giles paces Kansas with 29 blocked shots to go along with his 7.7 points and 5.8 rebound per game.

About Missouri
Missouri had an eight-game home winning streak and five-game skein broke by Colorado Saturday, 74-71. The Tigers are currently 9-5 on the season and 2-1 in Big 12 play with league wins against Oklahoma State (69-61) and at Oklahoma (71-69). Missouri is scoring 65.5 points per game and giving up 61. Junior guard Thomas Gardner leads the team with an 18.9 scoring average. His 45 three-pointers made this season are more than the rest of the Tigers combined. Gardner is averaging 22 points per game in Big 12 play. Senior guard Jimmy McKinney is next in scoring at 11.2 points per game. He is among the league leaders in free throw percentage at 80.7 percent. Senior Kevin Young leads the team in rebounds at 7.4 per game to go along with his 7.9 points per outing. Sandwiched between McKinney and Young is sophomore Marshall Brown who is scoring 9.3 points and pulling down 5.4 rebounds. Sophomore Jason Horton leads the team with 49 assists and 26 steals while scoring five points per game.

The Series
Kansas leads the all-time series with Missouri, 161-92. KU has won four of the last five meetings and nine of the past 11 match ups with MU. The last meeting saw the Tigers snap a Kansas four-game series-winning streak with a 72-68 win on March 6, 2005, to end the regular season. KU is 61-52 versus Missouri when playing in Columbia and 0-1 in Mizzou Arena. Tonight will mark the first time since Jan. 19, 1991 that neither team was ranked at tip. There have been 32 KU-MU games played since with one or both of the teams ranked. The Jayhawks lost the first-ever meeting with the Missouri Tigers, 34-31, on March 11, 1907, in Lawrence.

Up Next
Kansas returns home to take on Nebraska on Jan. 21 in Allen Fieldhouse. The KU-NU tilt will be televised on ESPN with a 3 p.m. (Central) tip. The game will also mark the official opening of the Booth Family Hall of Athletics.