No. 2 Kansas Basketball Uses Balanced Effort In 103-86 Win Vs. No. 19 Missouri
Feb. 7, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Five Jayhawks scored in double figures as No. 2 Kansas turned a close game for 27 minutes into a 103-86 victory against No. 19 Missouri Monday night. KU scored 100 points against its biggest rival for the first time since netting 105 in a 2002 meeting.
The victory improved Kansas to 23-1 on the year, including 8-1 in Big 12 play, while Missouri fell to 18-6 and 4-5 in conference action. The Jayhawks have defeated Missouri 12 straight times in Allen Fieldhouse and have claimed 13 of the last 16 meetings overall.
Kansas, the nation’s leading field goal shooting team, hit a blistering 60.7 percent of its shots from the field, including 11 of 19 three-pointers. KU also dominated the boards grabbing 38 to Missouri’s 21.
KU All-America candidate Marcus Morris scored 17 of his game-high 22 points in the second half as he made seven of nine shots. The junior also recorded a game-high eight rebounds in 27 minutes of play.
Mario Little came off the bench to spark KU as he netted a career-high 17 points while making seven of nine shots, including all three of his three-point attempts.
Markieff Morris added 16 points on six of eight shooting, while also registering seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks.
Tyshawn Taylor chipped in 13 points, while Travis Releford made four of five shots for 10 points, his fifth double-figure scoring game of the year and his first points since scoring 13 against UMKC on Jan. 5.
Missouri also had five players reach double figures as Laurence Bowers scored 19 and Phil Pressey chipped in 17 to go along with six assists.
The Tigers shot 51.7 percent from the field, by far the best percentage against KU this year (48.8 percent by Baylor) and the best allowed by the Jayhawks since Oklahoma State shot 60.4 percent last year.
Kansas improved to 22-1 in home games on ESPN’s Big Monday package and has won 15 consecutive such games in Allen Fieldhouse. Overall KU is 40-14 in Big Monday games and will play on Big Monday each of the next two weeks as well – traveling to Kansas State next Monday and hosting Oklahoma State on Feb. 21.
Holding a slight four-point advantage at halftime the Morris brothers went to work to start the second half. The duo scored KU’s first 10 points after the break with eight by Marcus and two by Markieff. At that point the Jayhawks led 56-46 after an 8-0 run.
Missouri cut the margin down to 65-58 on a 7-3 run, but KU erupted with a 10-2 stretch which featured a dunk by Thomas Robinson and three-pointers by Little and Releford.
The Jayhawks built up as much as a 17-point lead at the 9:41 mark when Tyrel Reed drained a three to put KU up 80-63.
The first half was a back and forth battle with both teams playing extremely well offensively. KU shot 55.9 percent in the first half, while Missouri was even better netting 57.7 percent from the field.
Missouri built up a five-point lead at 22-17 and led 23-19 before the Jayhawks went on a 7-0 run to gain a 26-23 advantage. Mario Little’s three-pointer at the 8:52 mark capped the run and gave KU its first lead since 6-4.
The lead didn’t last long as MU responded with five straight points to lead 28-26. From there, short runs by both teams kept it interesting going into halftime.
Markieff Morris keyed the KU scoring early, making his first four shots en route to 10 first-half points. Little sparked the Jayhawks in the second part of the half drilling five of seven shots en route to 12 points at the break. That total surpassed his season scoring high of 11 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Kansas will host Iowa State in its next game, Saturday, Feb. 12 at 3 p.m. That game will be televised on the Big 12 Network.