No. 11/8 Missouri is No Match for the Red-Hot Jayhawks
March 1, 2009
LAWRENCE, Kan. – On a day when former Jayhawk great Kirk Hinrich had his number 10 jersey retired to the Allen Fieldhouse rafters, No. 15 Kansas humbled the No. 11/8 Missouri Tigers 90-65 behind 44 combined points from Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins. The 90 Jayhawk points were the most scored by Kansas in a conference game this season.
With the victory, Kansas improved to 24-5 and 13-1 in the Big 12 and takes a one-game lead in the conference race into the final week of the regular season. A win in either of its final two games and Kansas would lay claim to its fifth straight and ninth overall Big 12 regular-season title. Missouri dropped to 24-5 and 11-3 in Big 12 play.
Collins led Kansas with 25 points to post his fourth straight game of 22-plus points. The 25 was one off his career-high of 26 points, last set at Oklahoma last Monday. Aldrich scored 19 points and pulled down 14 rebounds to record his fourth straight and 17th overall double-double of the season.
Behind a raucous home crowd Kansas raced to an 11-5 lead and forced a Missouri timeout 4:44 into the game. At the timeout, every Jayhawk starter had scored at least one point.
Missouri coach Mike Anderson’s first timeout failed to help the Tigers though, as KU continued to extend the lead to 16 at 21-5. Missouri called another timeout with 12:14 remaining in the first half to stop the 14-0 Kansas run. Missouri answered with a 5-0 run of its own, but two Tyrel Reed three-pointers would push the Kansas lead to 21 at 33-12 with 6:26 remaining in the half.
Kansas freshman Tyshawn Taylor nailed a three-point bucket with just a few seconds remaining in the first half to give Kansas its largest lead of the half at 45-19.
In the first half, Missouri was 0-for-9 from three point land and shot just 20.5 percent on 8-for-39 shooting. Kansas, on the other hand, was red-hot, shooting 18-for-32 (56.3 percent), including 5-for-7 (71.4 percent) from beyond the arc. KU outscored the Tigers 11-0 on the fast break in the opening half.
A Collins three early in the second half pushed KU’s lead to 50-23, but Missouri answered with its longest unanswered run of the game to close the gap to 50-31 with 16:46 remaining. Missouri would never threaten Kansas in the second half.
In the latter stages of the game, Kansas extended the lead and kept the crowd into the game behind two perfectly executed alley-oops from Taylor to Aldrich.
DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons led Missouri with 16 and 20 points, respectively.
For the game, Kansas shot 55.9 percent (33-for-59) from the field and 57.1 percent (8-for-14) from three point range. Missouri warmed up in the second half, but still only shot 35.7 (25-for-70) percent from the field over the course of the game. KU outrebounded the Tigers 46-32, the fourth-straight game that has occurred.
Up next for the Jayhawks is a trip to Texas Tech on Wednesday night. Tip is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN2.