Sunday, March 01, 2009

Pound Salt: Kansas Crushes Missouri

#15 Kansas 90, #11 Missouri 65

Kansas left no doubt that they are ready for the post-season, whipping border rival Missouri into complete submission.

An overflow crowd descended on Allen Fieldhouse as the Kansas Jawhawks hosted the Missouri Tigers in the biggest Big 12 game of the year. Before fans could even get settled in their seats, however, the Jawhawks had streaked to a 21-5 lead, controlling the boards and getting out on the run. Just 7 minutes into the game, six different Kansas players were on the board.

The Jayhawks extended their lead to 26 points at the half, 45-19, when Tyshawn Taylor swished a three with 5 seconds left, getting significant contributions from freshmen twins Marcus and Markieff Morris, a pair of 6'8" forwards from APEX Academy in New Jersey, and sophomore Tyrel Reed, who canned a pair of timely three-pointers in the first half rout. The twins contributed a combined 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Not only was Kansas scoring at a solid pace, their defense was magnificent, holding the tigers to 21% shooting in the first half and 37% for the game.

Sherron Collins led the scoring with 25 points. Cole Aldrich was his usual bruising self inside, scoring 19 points and corralling 13 rebounds for his 17th double-double of the season.

The Jayhawks (24-5, 13-1) need only win March 4 at Texas Tech and, at home, March 7 against Texas, to capture the Big 12 title.

Coach Bill Self has this team pointed to go deep in the post-season. Collins and Aldrich provide experienced floor leadership and there is no shortage of talent on the Kansas bench.

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