Kansas Men's Basketball Falls For the First Time in Conference Play At Missouri

Feb. 9, 2009

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COLUMBIA, Mo. – A rough start turned into a disappointing finish for the Jayhawks as the University of Kansas men’s basketball team fell to Border Showdown rival Missouri, 62-60, in front of a sellout crowd of 15,061, Monday night at Mizzou Arena.

KU built a 14-point halftime advantage, but in the end it wasn’t enough as MU’s Zaire Taylor hit a last second shot to extend Missouri’s homecourt winning streak to 16. KU dropped to 19-5 overall and 8-1 in the Big 12, while Mizzou improved to 21-4 overall and 8-2 in the league.

It was sloppy on both ends to open the contest with both teams going 0-4 from the floor and committing two turnovers right off the bat. With just over 16:30 on the clock, KU finally got on the board first when Marcus Morris stole the ball from Tiger Leo Lyons and pitched ahead to Tyshawn Taylor for a fastbreak dunk and a 2-0 lead.

Missouri answered on the next possession to tie the game 2-2 and then pushed its lead to 7-2. With just under 13 minutes left in the opening period and Missouri leading 9-8, KU coach Bill Self called a timeout. After the quick break, the teams traded buckets and MU led by one at the second media timeout.

Back from the commercial break, Sherron Collins got on the board to put KU up 12-11 and the Jayhawks started to assert themselves. Tyrel Reed, entered the game and hit a pair of long-range bombs and KU led 22-13 by the third TV timeout.

Kansas ended the half on an 8-3 run, punctuated by an acrobatic layin by Taylor at the buzzer to lead 30-16 at the break.

The 16-point Missouri first half was a Tiger season low for a team that leads the Big 12 in scoring at 84.2 points per game entering the contest.

Eight of nine Jayhawks who played in the first half scored with Reed leading the way with six points. DeMarre Carroll led MU with six points and four boards.

Predictably, Missouri came out of the locker room looking to quickly erase KU’s lead. After not being able to score on consecutive possessions in the first half, the Tigers converted on six of their first seven possessions of the second half. At the 17 minute mark, KU’s lead was cut to eight, 34-26.

For the time being, KU was able to keep the Tigers at arms length and kept its lead around 10. At the under 12 timeout, the Jayhawks led 46-35. But after the TV break, the Tigers slowly started to make their move.

In fact, MU scored the next eight points with buckets from Lyons and Zaire Taylor to get within three at 46-43. KU then went to its own Taylor, as Tyshawn Taylor hit a floater in the lane and the converted a three-point play. Travis Releford gave KU its own 8-0 run when he grabbed the ball and raced coast-to-coast for another three-point play.

From there, Missouri chipped away until finally tying the game 58-all at the 1:29 mark on a pair of free throws from Leo Lyons. J.T. Tiller gave MU its first lead of the half 40 seconds later. KU’s Mario Little knotted it at 60 with 30 ticks left.

Missouri held the ball for the final possession and Zaire Taylor hit the game winner with 1.3 seconds remaining. KU’s Brady Morningstar heaved the ball the length of the floor to Cole Aldrich who was unable to tip in the desperation shot for a chance at overtime.

All nine KU players who saw action scored with Taylor leading the way with 11 points. Aldrich grabbed 15 rebounds and five blocks to go with eight points.

Carroll paced all scorers with 22 points to go with seven rebounds. In addition to hitting the winning shot, Zaire Taylor scored seven points.

Kansas outrebounded the Tigers 48-28 – a KU season high and an MU season low – but turned the ball over a season-high 27 times which led to 24 Mizzou points.

Kansas will return to action on Saturday to face in-state rival Kansas State in Manhattan at 2:30 p.m. in a game televised nationally on ABC.