No. 2 Jayhawks slam Tigers in road win
Marcus Morris shook off a scary collision with a scorer’s table to
notch a double-double and No. 2 Kansas used two big runs in each
half to beat Missouri 77-56 on Saturday.
Kansas (29-2, 15-1 Big 12) led by 16 after a 20-4 run in the
first half, then put together another 20-4 spurt after Morris’
injury to beat its biggest rival for the eighth time in nine games.
The Jayhawks shot 52 percent after a shaky start and will head into
next week’s Big 12 tournament as the No. 1 seed and one victory
from joining Kentucky and North Carolina in the 2,000-win club.
Missouri (22-9, 10-6) struggled with Kansas’ depth and size
inside for the second time this season, giving up 42 points in the
paint and 17 more rebounds in its final home game. Kim English had
16 points led the Tigers, who were 3 of 22 from 3-point range.
Morris had 12 points and 10 rebounds, Tyshawn Taylor scored
all of his 13 points in the second half to go with six assists and
five rebounds, and Sherron Collins added 12 points for Kansas.
The Jayhawks wrapped up their sixth straight Big 12
regular-season title with an emotional win over rival Kansas State
on Wednesday night in Collins’ final game at Allen Fieldhouse.
That left the Jayhawks with two days to get ready for another
Kansas manhandled Missouri the last meeting, holding the
Tigers to 27 percent shooting and grabbing a 56-28 rebounding
advantage in an 84-65 rout.
Back at home, where they were 16-1 this season, the Tigers
seemed ready for Kansas.
Riding the emotion of Senior Day — J.T. Tiller, Zaire Taylor
and Keith Ramsey were honored before the game — Missouri swarmed
the Jayhawks early, getting them to force up shots against pressure
and breaking out for easy baskets.
The euphoria didn’t last long.
Working the ball inside, Kansas got six straight points from
Markieff Morris, then seven straight from Marcus. The inside
success opened up the outside and the Jayhawks started making shots
Collins put the finishing touches on a 20-4 half-closing run,
scoring the final eight points to put the Jayhawks up 40-24.
Missouri still had some fight, using its defense to create
turnovers and easy shots to open with a 16-4 run, pulling 44-40 on
Tiller’s three-point play on a hard drive.
It got worse for Kansas seconds later when Marcus Morris
slammed his head on a courtside table while scrambling for a loose
ball with Missouri’s Marcus Denmon. Morris lay on the floor for
several minutes then gingerly walked off the court to the locker
The Jayhawks rallied after seeing their teammate go down,
reeling off another 20-4 run that included consecutive 3-pointers
by Tyrel Reed. By the time Morris returned with just over 5 minutes
left, Kansas was well in control.