Final, KU wins 76-70x
COLUMBIA, Mo. - It certainly wasn't pretty, but the Kansas University men's basketball team found a way in the second half to avoid the fate suffered by fellow Top-5 residents North Carolina and UCLA Saturday, knocking off Missouri 76-70 in Mizzou Arena.
The Tigers jumped out to a 7-1 lead right off the bat on the Jayhawks, but KU fought back with a 9-2 run and from there, it was a slugfest until the closing minutes. Darnell Jackson and Darrell Arthur played much of the second half in foul trouble in a game ruled by an abundance of whistles. But the KU big men still were effective on both ends of the floor. Jackson and Arthur combined with Brandon Rush to pull down 26 rebounds among the three of them. For Rush, it was far from a stellar offensive night, but he remained aggressive despite struggles from the floor. The junior guard finished with 13 points despite going just 2-of-14 from the floor. He hit nine of his 14 free throw attempts, including two huge late charities after an intentional foul was called on Mizzou's Matt Lawrence. Mario Chalmers led KU with 18 points, including an 8-of-11 showing from the stripe.
KU was just 22-of-55 from the field in an ugly offensive game for both teams, but Darnell Jackson and Darrell Arthur combined for an efficient 8-of-16 showing, scoring a total of 23 points.
Stefhon Hannah scored 23 points for Mizzou, and was the only Tiger to score in double figures. The Tigers were just 27-of-71 from the floor. The biggest disappointment on the score sheet for Mizzou was junior DeMarre Carroll, who was averaging a shade under 15 points per game. He was just 2-of-11 from the floor, finishing with five points.
The two teams combined to hit just nine of 40 three-point attempts (KU was 4-of-12, MU was 5-of-28).
KU (18-0 overall, 3-0 Big 12) next plays Wednesday night when Iowa State comes to Allen Fieldhouse for a 6 p.m. tip.
1:07, second half, KU leads 70-63
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Mario Chalmers drew a foul on Jason Horton out of the timeout, then drew a blocking call against Stefhon Hannah while bringing the ball up. Hannah and Horton after that series each had four fouls, and Chalmers swished both free throws to again put KU up at least two scores at 68-63 with 3:20 to play.
Keon Lawrence tired to hit a three just inside of the two-minute mark, with neither team having scored during a lull in the game, but Russell Robinson muscled up and tore down a defensive rebound. Mario Chalmers missed on the other end, but after a Mizzou turnover created an open-floor opportunity for Brandon Rush, Matt Lawrence was whistled for an intentional foul on Rush after hugging him while he was going up for the shot. Rush stroked both free throws to deliver the potential dagger to the Tigers, going up 70-63 with a minute to play.
3:57, second half, KU leads 66-63
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Brandon Rush hit one of two free throws out of the timeout, and then that was matched by Mizzou's DeMarre Carroll after Darnell Jackson was whistled for his fourth foul of the game.
Carroll then blocked a Darrell Arthur shot inside, but Carroll then turned the ball over. KU returned the favor, with Stefhon Hannah feeding ahead to Leo Lyons, who hit an awkward layup over Sasha Kaun, leading Bill Self to call a timeout.
Sherron Collins pushed the ball up the floor out of the break, and after eventually slashing to the hole, he drew the fifth foul of the game on Leo Lyons, forcing the Mizzou forward out with 10 points on the night. Collins then swished both free throws to put KU up 66-59 just inside of the five-minute mark.
Jason Horton then hit a pull-up jumper for MU, and scored again after a Sasha Kaun miss in transition to pull the Tigers within three points at 66-63.
After a KU 30-second timeout, Mario Chalmers was called for an offensive foul, sending the game to a full break with the Jayhawks still up just three.
7:01, second half, KU leads 63-56
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Marshall Brown dropped in a jumper from within the paint out of the timeout, and Brandon Rush then came back down to get to the free throw line after a hard drive. He knocked down both attempts to keep KU's lead at five points at 58-53.
Darnell Jackson then drew contact after a KU defensive rebound, and it put the Jayhawks into the bonus at the 10:32 mark, He hit one of two to give him 12 points and six rebounds so far.
Leo Lyons was then called for his fourth foul of the game after MU failed to chip back anymore down by six. It put Mario Chalmers at the line, but he couldn't connect on the first attempt, sending it back with the Tigers. Then, Lyons drew a foul on Brandon Rush to get himself to the stripe. He hit one of two, as neither team has been steallar so far at the line.
Darrell Arthur again went hard to the rack, going up hard against Stefhon Hannah and drawing a call as his shot dropped in off the window. After a Mizzou timeout, Arthur missed the accompanying free throw to keep KU's lead at seven points.
Darnell Jackson then ripped down a hard defensive board after a Jason Horton miss from three-point range, but Mario Chalmers missed a long ball of his own on the other end.
DeMarre Carroll, held well below his 14.9 ppg scoring average so far with four points, missed a pair of free throws after drawing the third foul of the game on Jackson. J.T. Tiller grabbed the offensive board, though and scored a deuce.
After Mizzou got another chance to pull in close and couldn't capitalize, Mario Chalmers went up-and-under across the baseline for a two-pointer. Darryl Butterfield then missed a three for KU, and Brandon Rush was fouled by Butterfield while soaring and attempting to throw down a one-handed dunk in transition.
11:26, second half, KU leads 56-51
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Sasha Kaun scored his first bucket of the game on an entry feed from Russell Robinson. That was followed by Stefhon Hannah's third three-pointer of the game to again make it a two point game.
Darrell Arthur answered yet again, this time corralling a huge offensive rebound off of a Brandon Rush miss and dropping in a one-handed shot from just feet away.
Sasha Kaun made it a five-point game after hitting one of two free throws, and Leo Layons did the same to make it 53-49.
Darnell Jackson moved into double figures on KU's next possession, taking a feed from Sherron Collins and slipping in two off the glass. He hit the free throw to go with his shot, giving KU its biggest lead yet at seven points. Jackson then took down another defensive board off of a J.T. Tiller three miss. Russell Robinson lost the ball out of bounds, though, after slipping along the three-point arc.
Leo Lyons slipped in a two from the wing, and then a travel call on Jackson sent the game into a full break.
14:31, second half, KU leads 48-45
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Darnell Jackson missed a turnaround two inside after the half, and Darrell Arthur picked up his third foul on the other end. He stayed in the game, though, and the Jayhawks then created a transition opportunity, with Brandon Rush throwing home a lob toss from Russell Robinson.
Mario Chalmers then hit a pair of free throws after drawing a foul on MU, pushing KU's lead to six points at 42-36 - KU's first breathing room of the night.
Vaidotas Volkus continued his surprising night by stroking another two after sitting most of the first half with foul trouble.
MU got a chance to chip back in closer, but Carroll missed a three atop the key. After Darnell Jackson was tied up for a jump ball underneath on KU's next possession, Stefhon Hannah hit his second three of the night to pull MU within one at 42-41.
Mario Chalmers then got to the line and hit one of two, and after a Hannah turnover, Sherron Collins hit his first three of the night from the left wing to put KU up 46-41. Hannah then dropped in two underneath.
A Brandon Rush miss gave MU a chance to get closer, but two looks inside were no good and Collins hit a long two after pump-faking a defender off his feet.
Volkus swished another jumper, this time on the baseline, to pull MU back within three points at 48-45.
Halftime, KU leads 38-36
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Brandon Rush hit one of two free throws out of the break, and after Matt Lawrence missed a deep three, Sherron Collins skied for a big defensive board. KU couldn't score, though, and Lawrence then hit his first three of the game on the other end to put MU up 32-31.
Rush, still going hard on offense, rolled in two off the glass down the right wing to pull KU back within a point. Cole Aldrich then grabbed a tough defensive board in traffic. He was rewarded on the other end after finding space with an entry pass leading to an easy two-handed slam.
Hannah gave the lead back to the Tigers by hitting a pair of free throws. Then, Marshall Brown hit one of two charities, and followed by a Darnell Jackson two, KU took a 38-36 lead into the half.
In the first half, both teams were efficient offensively, with KU hitting 14 of 33 shots and MU going 13-of-30. Mizzou's Stefhon Hannah leads all scorers with 10 points, including a 5-of-6 showing from the free throw line.
Darnell Jackson, Russell Robinson and Mario Chalmers each scored eight points for KU. Brandon Rush has been aggressive, just not productive. He's 1-of-7 from the floor with four points and six rebounds.
3:59, first half, Mizzou leads 29-28
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Matt Lawrence missed a three out of the timeout for Mizzou, and on the trip back down, Brandon Rush tried again to get his offense going, but was whistled for a charge after working inside on Darryl Butterfield.
Another MU miss, though, gave KU a chance to take the lead yet again. This time, the Jayhawks capitalized, with Russell Robinson hitting Darnell Jackson underneath for a two-handed slam. The Tigers regained the lead on a Jason Horton three form the right wing.
Horton then grabbed a defensive board after Chalmers was off on a three late against the shot clock. In transition, though, DeMarre Carroll missed a look from point-blank range.
Mario Chalmers then tied the game again, this time at 26-26, by hitting a runner in the lane which dipped in after a high bounce off the rim.
Darnell Jackson then got to the line with KU again trailing following a Stefhon Hannah free throw. He missed two attempts in the double bonus, though, and Hannah dropped in two while driving the lane with ease.
Jackson then was given a lob toss by Brandon Rush, who cut the lane following a three miss. Rush was then fouled in transition going into the half's final TV timeout.
7:53, first half, Mizzou leads 23-22
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Mizzou scrapped for a loose ball underneath following an aired Sherron Collins three-point try, calling a timeout in the scrum to keep possession. After the quick break, though, the Tigers gave it right back with a turnover of their own.
Mizzou's pressure defense on the perimeter again forced the Jayhawks into a tough shot at the end of the clock, with Darnell Jackson missing from deep. Brandon Rush corralled the offensive board and was fouled going back up, then hitting one of two free throws.
After another KU missed free throw, Leo Lyons went down in transition and dropped through a two in the lane over Darrell Arthur. He was whistled for a foul, but awarded the basket still to push MU's lead to 23-19. Arthur went to shoot at the other end in the bonus. He hit one of two to keep KU within one score at 23-20.
KU made it a one-point game thanks to a two-point basket by Darnell Jackson in transition off of another MU turnover. Stefhon Hannah tried to extend it with a three, but missed long. After the board was tipped out, he controlled it and drew another KU foul.
DeMarre Carroll then drove from the wing and missed a two. He then picked the ball away from Sasha Kaun on the boards and went back up to draw a foul. Carroll missed both charities and Darnell Jackson got the board to push the ball back up for KU. A missed Brandon Rush shot saw a rebound go out of bounds, sending the game into another full break.
11:28, first half, Mizzou leads 21-18
COLUMBIA, Mo. - Brandon Rush missed short on a three out of the timeout, giving MU a chance to extend its two-point lead. Stefhon Hannah tried a three of his own but was short just as Rush was moments earlier. Mario Chalmers finally rang the bell, hitting his second three of the game on the next trip down, giving KU its first lead since 1-0 at 12-11.
Leo Lyons, into the game for Vaidotas Volkus, scored his first points after driving the baseline. The Mizzou lead was extended to three points then, after Darrell Arthur missed a lob dunk off the back iron. In transition, Brandon Rush couldn't catch DeMarre Carroll, who threw down a two-handed slam.
Arthur drew contact on the other end, then went to the line to swish a pair of free throws and keep KU within one point at 15-14.
Lyons then missed a fadeaway jumper long off the iron, and after spinning in the lane, Russell Robinson dropped in an awkward two in transition. Matt Lawrence returned the favor with two points of his own after KU couldln't get back in time in transition.
Keon Lawrence then got into the action off the bench, driving in, back out, then back in for two points. Lawrence then was credited with two more thanks to a goaltending call against Darrell Arthur, putting MU up 21-16 and forcing a 30-second timeout call from Bill Self.
Sherron Collins sparked KU with a quick up-and-under layup after slashing down the lane out of the timeout for his first points of the night. He then was the beneficiary of a loose ball knocked free by Russll Robinson. The Jayhawks turned it over, though, heading into another full timeout.
15:40, first half, Mizzou leads 11-9
COLUMBIA, Mo. - KU controlled the opening tip, with Darrell Arthur getting an eight-foot look right away from the left block. The shot missed and went down the other way with MU. Brandon Rush, though took a poked pass inside the other way and fed Russell Robinson. Robinson was fouled by Stefhon Hannah on his way up in transition, making one of two free throws to score the game's first point.
Matt Lawrence tried his first three-pointer on MU's next possession, but off the miss and a knock out of bounds, Vaidotas Volkus hit a short baseline jumper for the Tigers. Volkus gets his first start of the night tonight in place of Leo Lyons. Then, after a foul on Mario Chalmers, Hannah canned a corner three to put MU up 5-1.
Hannah then went full-speed the other way after an Arthur airball on the other end. This time, he drew a foul on his way up and hit a pair of free throws to put MU up 7-1 just under two minutes into the ballgame.
Russell Robinson scored KU's first field goal of the game to quiet the crowd a tad on a leaner along the right block. Then, after a DeMarre Carroll three miss, Chalmers canned a trifeccta of his own to pull KU within one. Carroll came back to take an inside feed from Volkus inside for an easy deuce.
Arthur then atoned for a pair of early misses by hitting a turnaround jumper on Volkus while drawing contact. Arthur hit the free throw, making it an 8-2 KU run to tie the game, 9-9.
Brandon Rush missed a three after a Mizzou turnover, and the Tigers took the lead back again with Volkus drilling a lengthy baseline jumper. After that, Sasha Kaun was whistled on the offensive end for his first foul of the game. The Tigers couldn't respond offensively. Kaun then drew a foul on Volkus as the game headed into its first full break.
Tonight, the Kansas University men's basketball team hopes to not fall into the same pitfalls which doomed No. 1 North Carolina and No. 4 UCLA today.
Though unlike those two top-five squads that fell this afternoon, the Jayhawks don't have the luxury of playing at home. Instead, Bill Self's squad has to go to one of the most hostile environments it'll see all year - Mizzou Arena - for a 7 p.m. tip on ESPNU.
The Jayhawks (17-0 overall, 2-0 Big 12) are fresh after four-plus days off. Before that, though, came a pair of Big 12 pastings against Nebraska and Oklahoma in a 72-hour stretch. Behind those two wins, the Jayhawks, should they win tonight, are a likely candidate for the nation's No. 1 ranking come Monday.
Missouri, on the other hand, has been very Jekyll and Hyde in two Big 12 forays.
After shocking Texas last Saturday, 97-84, in Columbia, the Tigers (11-6, 1-1) went on the road and fell to Iowa State, 72-67, Wednesday night.
Scoring punch is present, though, for Mizzou. Junior Vanderbilt transfer DeMarre Carroll is Mizzou's anchor, averaging 14.9 points and 7.2 rebounds a game this year. Senior point guard Stefhon Hannah, who had two good games against KU a year ago, averages 14.1 points and 5.4 rebounds a game. Leo Lyons - a 6-foot-9 Kansas City product - is one of the league's more improved players, averging 11.6 points and 4.5 rebounds a game so far as a junior.
The Tigers will be wearing home whites, with KU wearing their traditional road blues.