FINAL: Strong first half pushes KU to 84-65 victory over MU

Kansas guard Sherron Collins cuts under Missouri forward Laurence Bowers to the bucket during the first half, Monday, Jan. 25, 2010 at Allen Fieldhouse.

KU scoring — Marcus Morris 17, Reed 14, Aldrich 12, X. Henry 9, Morningstar 9, Markieff Morris 9, Taylor 7, Collins 6, Withey 1.

KU was 28-for-57 from the floor (49.1 percent), 9-for-19 from three (47.4 percent) and 19-for-26 from the free-throw line (73.1 percent).

MU was 19-for-68 from the floor (27.9 percent), 6-for-18 from three (33.3 percent) and 21-for-24 from the free-throw line (87.5 percent).

KU out-rebounded MU, 56-28. KU had 23 turnovers, while MU had five.

FINAL: KU defeats MU, 84-65

MU keeps its press on through the final minute. It’s tough for Self to substitute liberally with the continued pressure.

Elijah Johnson uses a nice spin move to shake a defender, then scoops to Jeff Withey, who is fouled. Withey makes one of two free throws.

Anderson calls a 30-second timeout with 24.9 seconds left, and the KU fans don’t appreciate the stoppage in play, sending some boos his way.

The Jayhawks run out the clock, closing out an 84-65 victory.

KU 83/MU 61 — 3:54 left in game

KU’s defense lets up a bit, as MU scores points on five straight possessions. Nitpicking, I know, but I’m sure it’s something Self won’t be happy with afterwards, especially with the regulars still in.

It’s amazing that KU has built up such a lead with the turnover numbers in this game. KU has 21 turnovers, while MU has just five, yet the Jayhawks lead by 22. Also consider that Collins is 2-for-10 with nine points, one assist and four turnovers.

KU 75/MU 47 — 7:46 left in game

Aldrich gets it inside, and he rattles a shot in over defenders.

Reed keeps his perfect long-range shooting day intact, swishing another three. He’s 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.

That doesn’t stop MU from leaving Reed wide open on the next possession, and the Burlington native swishes another three-pointer. I don’t think he’s hit rim on any of his attempts either.

KU 65/MU 42 — 12:54 left in game

Marcus Morris receives a pass inside, and after no one picks him up, he curls to the rim for a finger-roll.

You can tell Self really doesn’t like Higgins. Every time Higgins comes near the KU bench, Self starts chewing on him for something.

Markieff Morris catches a pass at the top of the key, and with no one guarding him that high, he steps into a three-pointer, putting it through.

KU gives up an offensive rebound and two, but after breaking the press, Morningstar lobs to Markieff for an alley-oop slam. Anderson isn’t happy, and he asks for a timeout.

KU 58/MU 38 — 15:16 left in game

MU starts the second half with two steals in the first two minutes, but following a Xavier Henry three, the Tigers don’t make up any ground.

Kim English hits a three, but Xavier answers with another trey.

The Jayhawks look a bit more timid in the second half against the Tigers’ pressure. Another near-steal from English, but he’s whistled for the foul first. I didn’t see much contact there, so KU catches a bit of a break.

Some weird calls before the media timeout. Aldrich blocks an English shot, but the officials say it’s out of bounds off English. On the other end, Taylor is whistled for a charge when his momentum was taking him out of bounds instead of toward the basket.

I guess the best thing KU can say for the first 4:44 of the second half is that its lead is still at 20.

KU scoring — Marcus Morris 11, Reed 8, Morningstar 7, Taylor 7, Aldrich 6, Collins 4, Markieff Morris 4, X. Henry 3.

KU was 19-for-37 from the floor (51.4 percent), 4-for-9 from three (44.4 percent) and 8-for-12 from the free-throw line (66.7 percent).

MU was 10-for-40 from the floor (25 percent), 4-for-9 from three (44.4 percent) and 6-for-7 from the free-throw line (85.7 percent).

Get ready for this: KU out-rebounded MU, 37-15, in the first half.

KU had 11 turnovers, while MU had two.

Aldrich had 12 first-half rebounds, while Markieff Morris had 10. Aldrich also had five blocks.

KU had 28 points in the paint, while MU had six.

KU 50/MU 30 — Halftime

With KU’s success on fast breaks tonight, we shouldn’t overlook Aldrich’s outlet passes. All his tosses have been strong and on the money, and many times, they have pushed KU all the way to mid-court before MU’s defense can get set.

MU is dominating the turnover battle (11-2), but with the Tigers’ cold shooting, it doesn’t matter.

Aldrich gets away with an over-the-back, tipping in a missed free throw for KU. The next possession, Taylor picks up an offensive rebound and lays it in.

KU scraps for a loose ball under its own basket, as Markieff Morris goes flying out of bounds to save it. The ball eventually goes out off of MU. Cole Aldrich helps with the mop duty on the court.

Collins misses a finger-roll, but Markieff Morris gets the stickback.

KU gets a defensive stop, and with three defenders on him, Morningstar puts up a leaning three at the buzzer. It hits off the backboard, then rattles around the rim before falling through. The crowd erupts, and Morningstar backbumps a few of his teammates in the air on the way to the locker room.

KU takes a 50-30 lead into the break.

KU 38/MU 25 — 3:38 left in 1st half

Taylor shows aggressiveness against the slow-rotating MU defense, taking it to the middle of the lane before dropping in a short floater.

Aldrich draws three defenders, then looks crosscourt for Reed, who swishes a three.

Taylor drives to draw some attention, then dishes to Marcus Morris, who finishes with a layup. The Jayhawks have done a good job of using MU’s aggressive defense against it so far.

Morningstar with a bad pass across the lane that’s stolen, and it turns out to be a double whammy for KU, as Marcus Morris picks up his second foul. He’ll have to go to the bench.

Reed with a deep three that, once again, touches nothing but net.

This game is going according to previous trends, as MU is not shooting well on the road (9-for-33, 27.3 percent).

KU 26/MU 18 — 7:23 left in 1st half

After KU beats backcourt pressure, Brady Morningstar cuts through the lane and confidently puts in a layup off the glass for two. A minute later, Morningstar does it again, driving before putting in a short shot high off the glass. MU coach Mike Anderson dials up a timeout with his team struggling most on the offensive end.

It’s Morningstar’s game now, as he catches a tough pass in traffic, looks away a defender, then fires a no-look pass across the lane to Marcus Morris for a layup and foul.

Morningstar with another nice pass in traffic to Marcus Morris, but the big man can’t get a thunder jam to fall.

Collins fakes a pass in transition, then puts in a soft layup himself. For a brief moment, KU opens up an 11-point lead.

KU 17/MU 13 — 11:08 left in 1st half

Tyshawn Taylor is fouled on his way up, and he makes both free throws. KU — not a team that shoots a lot of free throws — is 4-for-5 from the line just 6 1/2 minutes into this one.

Big block from Aldrich, which leads to a 2-on-1 break. Taylor throws a lob pass to Tyrel Reed, who guides it in for two.

Another steal for KU, but Xavier Henry is stripped before he can get his layup attempt up. Official John Higgins makes an emphatic call, saying the ball went off Henry’s knee and out of bounds. Self is furious with the call, and he lets Higgins know about it.

Marcus Morris rips away an offensive board, and he takes a power dribble before putting a layup off the glass and in.

The pace is frantic in this one. I know the Tigers like to play fast, but they’d probably be better suited to hold the ball a little longer on the offensive end before jacking up a shot. You’re asking for trouble in a track meet with KU.

KU 10/MU 10 — 14:42 left in 1st half

Another nice added-on pregame video puts the fans in a frenzy before the tip.

KU immediately goes inside to Cole Aldrich, who is fouled on the way up. The next possession, Xavier throws a low lob to Aldrich, but the big man catches it off his hip and dunks it all in one motion, putting the Jayhawks up 3-0.

Missouri isn’t rattled, though. Keith Ramsey puts in consecutive threes, finishing off an 8-0 run to put the Tigers up five.

We haven’t seen the full-court press from MU so far. That’s a little bit surprising, but perhaps the Tigers are going a little more conservative on the road.

Xavier Henry breaks KU’s drought with a three. KU is missing quite a few short shots inside.

Markieff Morris is immediately double-teamed once getting the ball in the post, but a quick pass gets it to a cutting Marcus Morris, who puts in a layup with a foul.

So far, MU is trying to play just as fast as KU.

8:06 p.m.

One-hundred-five decibels to start this one.

7 p.m.

All right, our chat has been fired up on the left side of this page or by following this link. I’ll be hanging out there until gametime. Remember, use the “Submit a Question” button to comment on a topic, post your score prediction or ask a question.

Today’s random question/debate: What is the best sports movie of all-time?

6:48 p.m.

Welcome back to the Newell Post Live, coming to you from Allen Fieldhouse where the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks are getting set to take on the Missouri Tigers in round one of the Border War.

First thing: Eddie Money will be singing tonight’s national anthem. He’s probably best known for his song, “Take Me Home Tonight.” I can’t think of a bigger name that I’ve seen perform the national anthem at Allen Fieldhouse.

We’ll be having another pregame chat starting an hour before the game. Before then, though, here are a few notes about Missouri, which enters with a 15-4 record.

The Tigers force turnovers on 28.4 percent of their opponents’ possessions, which is the best mark in the country. MU’s opponents are averaging 20.9 turnovers per game.

MU doesn’t turn it over much itself, averaging just 13.7 turnovers per game.

Missouri plays the 24th-fastest tempo in Division I.

The Tigers are shooting 45.6 percent from the floor this season.

MU has not shot above 43.3 percent in any of its seven games away from Mizzou Arena. In fact, seven of the Tigers’ eight worst shooting games this year have been away from home.

On average, MU has been out-rebounded by 7.3 in its four true road games.

MU’s opponents average 13.7 offensive rebounds per game.

Thirty percent of MU’s offense comes from three-pointers. The Tigers have made 38.2 percent of their long-range tries this year.

Kim English shoots the ball on 33.4 percent of his team’s possessions when he’s in the game — the 32nd-highest mark in the country.

Be sure to vote in our poll on the left and also use #kubball to have your Tweets show up on the left side of the page.