Morris twins lead Kansas past Missouri
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Take the Big 12’s highest-scoring teams, make them bitter rivals and put them on national television with a chance to shine and what do you get?
Plenty of offense and not much defense in No. 2 Kansas’ 103-86 victory over No. 19 Missouri on Monday night.
“I don’t know if there was a lot of defense played,” Missouri coach Mike Anderson. “But a lot of scoring took place.”
The Jayhawks (23-1, 8-1) started the game leading the nation in field goal percentage at 52 percent. On Monday, they shot at a 61 percent clip, and needed to, because Missouri (18-6, 4-5) hit a hot 52 percent.
“We didn’t really guard them very well the entire night,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “Of course, they’re quick.”
Marcus Morris had 22 points and reserve Mario Little added 17, sparking a second-half charge that enabled the Jayhawks to run away in the second half and post their 12th straight victory over their archrivals in Allen Fieldhouse.
Markieff Morris added 16 points for the Jayhawks, who have won at least 22 games for 23 consecutive seasons.
“Every time we run our offense, we feel like we are going to get a good look,” Little said. “Coach designs good plays. I think we have one of the best coaching staffs in the country. If we run our offense, I think we are going to get a good shot every time.”
Laurence Bowers, who fouled out with a little less than 5 1/2 minutes to go, had 19 points for Missouri and Phil Pressey had 17. The Tigers hit 7 of their first 9 shots in the first half and led by as many as six points before falling behind by four at halftime.
“When we went into halftime we really thought we were going to win this game,” Bowers said. “They went on a run ... and the next thing we look up and we’re down 10. Then we’re down 15. Defensively, we didn’t do the things we were capable of. But offensively, we executed.”
By the time Little threw down a dunk for a 93-85 lead with a little more than 5 1/2 minutes left, the loud, sellout crowd was yelling for the 100.
With 2:34 left and much of the buzzing crowd on its feet, the Jayhawks whipped the ball around and got Tyrel Reed an open look for a 3-pointer from the wing that made it 100-84, triggering a deafening roar from 16,300 fans.
Marcus Morris had only five points in the first half but was 54 for 6 for 17 points in the second.
“Coach told me at halftime to play like an All-American, like people expect you to play,” he said. “So I just went out there and tried to play hard. These guys backed me up and they continued what they did in the first half and brought it in the second half.”
A basket by Bowers cut Missouri’s lead to 46-44 to start the second half, but then the Morris brothers personally led the Jayhawks on a 10-2 spree, starting with Marcus’ forceful putback. Marcus, fouled by Bowers, then converted a three-point play which was followed by Markieff’s putback. After Markieff rebounded a Missouri miss, Marcus converted with a turnaround jumper for a 56-46 lead.
The Morris twins combined for 15 rebounds for Kansas, which held a commanding 38-21 edge on the boards.
“Kansas is a team that can score and we are a team that can score,” Anderson said. “But I thought they really hit some tough shots.”
The play was rough, as usual between these schools whose rivalry dates to violent border clashes in pre-Civil War days. About halfway through the second half, an intentional foul was called on Markieff for an openhanded push off the face of Justin Safford.
Safford made both free throws to cut the lead to 65-58.
But Thomas Robinson’s two free throws sparked a 10-2 run by the Jayhawks, climaxed by 3-pointers from Little and Travis Releford for a 75-60 lead.
Tyshawn Taylor had 13 points for Kansas and Releford had 10. Robinson had nine points and seven rebounds.
Ricardo Ratliffe had 12 points on 5-for-5 shooting but was one of three Missouri players to foul out. Matt Pressey added 11 points.