Jayhawks Spoil Mizzou's Senior Day Party

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Looking like a team ready for the postseason, the University of Kansas men's basketball team looked calm and poised as it spoiled Missouri's senior day, 77-56, in front of 15,061 fans Saturday at Mizzou Arena. Five Jayhawks scored in double figures in a balanced attack.

Kansas ended the regular season with a 29-2 overall record including 15-1 in the Big 12.  Missouri fell to 22-9 overall and 10-6 in the league.
 
Kansas got off to a slow start, hitting just four of its first 14 shots as Missouri built a 17-10 lead with 12:08 left in the first half. Kansas got five quick points from Cole Aldrich to start the game, but then went cold and was only kept in the game by the play of the Morris twins – Marcus and Markieff. 

Markieff scored Kansas' next six points – all in the paint – as the Jayhawks closed the gap to 17-16 while Missouri went scoreless for over four minutes of game clock. Markieff's play was the spark Kansas needed as it shot 65 percent (13-of-20) from the field the rest of the half.
 
With the Morris twins combining for 16 points and 11 rebounds (10 points, eight rebounds from Marcus) in the first half, Kansas was ahead 28-24 with just over two minutes left. To that point, Kansas had not gotten any scoring from Sherron Collins, Xavier Henry or Tyshawn Taylor.
 
That all changed as Kansas ended the half on a 16-0 run to close the half with Collins coming alive for eight points and Henry also getting a bucket. Overall, the Jayhawks outscored the Tigers 30-7 over the last 12 minutes of the period to lead 40-24 at halftime.
 
When the horn sounded to open the second half Missouri immediately started to chip away at the Kansas lead. With contributions from multiple Tigers, MU cut it to 44-40 with 12:50 on the clock.
 
A minute later up by six, Kansas was dealt a blow when it lost its most valuable player of the first half temporarily.  Diving on floor, Marcus Morris crashed into a press row table – breaking the sign – and had to be taken to the locker room.
 
When Morris returned to the bench just a few minutes later, Kansas had extended its lead back to 15 as it led 57-42 with 8:45 to play.
 
At the under eight minute TV timeout, you could hear a pin drop in Mizzou Arena as the lead had swelled to 19 with the Jayhawks up 61-42.
 
Kansas cruised from there for the 77-56 win.
 
Taylor ended up with 13 points to lead Kansas. Collins and Marcus Morris finished with 12, Tyrel Reed at 11, and Cole Aldrich posted 10 points and seven boards. Marcus Morris added a game-high 10 boards for his sixth double-double of the season.
 
Kim English led Missouri with 16 points.
 
Kansas outshot the Tigers 52.6 percent to 35.4 percent and owned the boards 45-28.
 
Kansas will play as the No. 1 seed in the 2010 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship at Sprint Center in Kansas City.  The Jayhawks will play at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 11 against the winner of the 8/9 game.

Box Score

Story courtesy:  KUAC

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