Missouri pushes KU in Lawrence

Missouri pushed Kansas to double-digit deficits in the first half, only to fold under the pressure of KU's zone defense in the second half. Missouri falls to 10-11 and 2-6 in the Big 12.

Kansas' experience showed on Big Monday.

On a night where Kansas struggled during the first half and scored 25 points by half time, Wayne Simien finished the game with 22 efficient points and Aaron Miles had 14 points and 10 assists.

While the Tigers showed that they could compete with the Jayhawks, Missouri lost to Kansas 73-61.

Missouri (10-11, 2-6 Big 12) built their first half lead extending Kansas' man-to-man defense and creating dribble penetration.

When Kansas switched to a packed 2-3 zone in the second half, Missouri fell back to former bad habits and settled for quick three-point attempts.

Tigers coach Quin Snyder fell to 3-10 against Kansas and 0-7 against Self. The Tigers have lost six of their last seven and are winless at Kansas since 1999.

Giddens had 15 points and Keith Langford had 11 for Kansas. Jason Conley had a season-high 20 points for Missouri and Linas Kleiza, before fouling out and then adding a technical foul for arguing, had 11.

While Kleiza is Missouri's leading scorer and rebounder this season, Missouri's most influential player this night was Jason Conley. Conley showed excellent aggressiveness creating steals and easy offensive buckets for both himself and his teammates.

Analysis: The bottom line for Missouri fans is that the Tigers showed that they can compete on a very high level for stretches, however, they have not shown the ability to close out teams when they need to.

Jason Horton showed many wonderful flashes in this game, but he also allowed himself to get trapped virtually at will by the KU defense and then emerged only to throw the ball away, creating easy baskets for Kansas.

Thomas Gardner's shooting touch is virtually missing in action. He looks like a player who has no belief or confidence that his own shot will fall.

Linas Kleiza also showed wonderful flashes and frustrating child-like outbursts of emotion. Kleiza is at his best when he penetrates on offense and attacks the rim. He is at his worst shooting outside and picking up cheap, sluggish fouls. Still, Missouri's half-court offense only appears to work when it runs through Linas on the block.

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