College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, February 7, 2011
The Missouri Tigers - ranked #19 in the most recent poll - have a very good basketball team, likely to go deep into the NCAA field come March, but, as proven Monday night, they still can't keep up with the big men from Kansas in the low post.
The Tigers fell victim, for the 9th time in their last 10 meetings, to the #2 Jayhawks (23-1, 8-1), losing a 103-86 decision in Lawrence, KS. Missouri got off to a flashy start and was able to hang in, down by only four points at the half, but Kansas continually got the ball inside to their big men, Marcus Morris, Markeiff Morris and 6'6" "guard" Mario Little, who had a season-high 17 points on 7-for-9 shooting.
Marcus Morris led all scorers with 22 points, also going 7-for-9, with a three-pointer and 7-for-12 from the foul line plus eight rebounds, five on the offensive end. Twin brother Markeiff went 6-for-8, also with a trey, for 16 points.
The Jayhawks shot a sizzling 61% for the game, a pace the Tigers could not match, though they hit at a 52% rate themselves. The Jayhawks' 103 points was the most they've scored this season since their opener against Longwood, when they lit it up for 113.
Missouri dropped to 4-5 in the Big 12, though their 18-6 record nearly ensures that they'll be in the field for the NCAA tourney. Kansas trails Texas (8-0) by 1/2 game in the conference. The Longhorns handled the Jayhawks 74-63 in January and do not play them again.
The Tigers will get another chance - at home - to knock off Kansas in the regular season finale for both teams, Saturday, March 5th.