No. 8 Kansas Falls in Final Minutes to No. 4 Missouri, 74-71
Feb. 4, 2012
COLUMBIA, Mo. –In the last meeting at Mizzou Arena as members of the same conference, an 11-0 Missouri run in the final two minutes erased Kansas’ late lead and handed the Tigers their first win against the Jayhawks in nearly three years, 74-71.
Senior guard Tyshawn Taylor drove for the dunk that put No. 8 Kansas (18-4, 8-2) ahead, 71-63, with 3:25 to play on Saturday night. On the first ESPN College Gameday ever hosted by No. 4 Missouri (21-2, 8-2), it looked as if the Jayhawks were on their way to the sixth-straight victory over their archrival.
Kansas, however, would not score again.
Missouri finished the game on an 11-0 run in the final 2:07 of the night to tie the Jayhawks for first place in the Big 12 race – the final Big 12 race Missouri will participate in.
Junior forward Thomas Robinson led the charge for Kansas, posting his Big 12-best 16th double-double, with 13 rebounds and 25 points, 19 of which came in the second half. After leading the floor with 17 points in the first half, Taylor finished the night with 21 and dished out three assists. Junior guard Elijah Johnsonwas the only other Jayhawk to score in double-figures, chipping in 11 points and four assists.
The Tigers also saw just three players break 10 points as Marcus Denmon, Kim English and Michael Dixon scored all 12 of the Tigers’ 74 points. Denmon led all scorers with 29 points, including nine points of the final 11-0 run, and connected on 6-of-9 from behind the arc.
Through nearly the first 10 minutes of the game, Taylor couldn’t miss as he racked up eight of the Jayhawks’ first 10 points. The senior knocked down his first pair of attempts from beyond the arc to put the Jayhawks ahead by the first media timeout, 13-7.
Missouri, who entered the evening ranked two spots behind the Jayhawks in scoring defense, held Kansas without a bucket for nearly four minutes following Taylor’s big start. The home team quietly chipped away at the deficit and earned its first lead of the evening, 16-15, midway through the opening half.
The Jayhawks hovered around an 80 percent shooting percentage in the game’s first five minutes, but by the eight-minute media timeout both teams sat at a 50 percent clip – led largely by senior guards Taylor and Denmon. After putting up just six points against Texas in the Tigers’ win at Texas, Denmon had 14 to his name by the five-minute mark, while Taylor kept pace with 12.
A free-throw violation called against the Jayhawks on Taylor’s made free throw sparked a downhill spiral that saw KU’s 32-28 lead turn to a 39-32 deficit following an 11-0 Missouri run – its first 11-0 run of the night. Again, it would be Taylor to revive the Kansas offense, when his layup cut Missouri’s halftime lead to five, 39-34. The halftime deficit marked the Jayhawks’ first since Jan. 16, 2006, when KU fell to Missouri in an 86-89 overtime battle.
Out of the break, Taylor was relieved by Robinson and Johnson, who combined for the Jayhawks’ first 15 points. Upon the first media timeout of the final frame, Robinson had surpassed his first-half total (6 pts.) with seven points. Johnson followed suit, also blowing past his first period contribution (5 pts.) by knocking down three quick field goals to return the lead to Kansas, 47-44.
Taylor’s first bucket of the second half extended the Jayhawk lead to 60-53, yet again Missouri would claw its way back. Denmon’s fourth three-pointer of the game capped an 8-2 run that saw KU’s edge again cut to a single point, 62-61, with less than eight minutes remaining.
Senior guard Conner Teahandrained a vital three, while Robinson and Taylor hit back-to-back buckets. With 3:25 remaining, Kansas took its largest lead of the night, 71-63.
It wouldn’t last. Again, Denmon put the home team on his back, scoring nine-straight points to give the Tigers the lead, 72-71, with less than a minute to play. Taylor, who was carried Kansas in the first-half with 17 points, drew the foul that sent him to the line with the chance to retake the lead with :35 on the clock. The Missouri crowd took hold, and Taylor missed both.
With 10 seconds remaining, Dixon hit the last two free throws needed to seal the 74-71 win for Missouri – handing the Tigers’ their first win against their rival since the 2009 season.
No. 8 Kansas will finish up a two-game road trip when the Jayhawks play at Baylor on Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 6 p.m. on ESPN2. Earlier this season, Kansas handed Baylor its first loss of the season, 92-74, on Jan. 16 in Allen Fieldhouse.