Zaire Taylor (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)
News, notes and quotes on KU’s 77-56 victory over Missouri Saturday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia. The Jayhawks moved to 29-2 and finished the Big 12 regular season at 15-1.
“A GAME OF RUNS”
Kansas used a 16-0 run to break open a 24-all game to close the first
half. Missouri, though, opened the second half on a 16-4 run, including
an 11-0 spurt to cut KU’s lead to 44-40 with 12:50 remaining. Kansas
then exploded with a 17- 2 run to put the Tigers away.
KU coach Bill Self was pleased overall with his team’s performance.
“It was a game of runs,” Self said. “We weren’t very good early, and
were obviously pitiful to start the second half, but we played good.
... We did some good things. We turned it over too much (19 turnovers).
It was kind of a casual game, but I thought we played really well. I
thought we played really well to end both halves. Anytime you can get a
win over here, it’s always a good thing.”
REED AND TAYLOR COME UP
While KU had five players in double figures, Self singled out sophomore
guard Tyshawn Taylor and junior guard Tyrel Reed for their impressive
play. Taylor led the Jayhawks’ balanced attack with 13 points. After
missing his first eight shots, he hit his next five. Taylor also added
five rebounds, six assists and three steals in 26 minutes.
Reed scored 11 points and made 3 of 5 three-pointers. He connected on 7
of 9 three-pointers in KU’s two games with MU this season. Reed’s 11
points were the most he’s scored since his career-high 14 versus
Missouri in Lawrence on Jan. 25.
“I thought (Reed) and Tyshawn were our two best players,” Self said.
“Tyshawn was 0 of 6 the first half, and probably had five shots
blocked. But he played good. I thought he defended well. He made a
couple of great plays defensively that let us get some baskets. Second
half, I didn’t think he was very good early, but he finished the game
“Tyrel, gosh, he made big plays. Just when we got it to about seven
(-point lead in the second half) or whatever it was, he makes two
threes back to back. Next thing you know, it’s 13 and we don’t look
back. He obviously played very well.”
McMORRIS DOUBLES UP
Sophomore forward Marcus Morris also stepped up against MU. He had his
sixth double-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds. His
12 points were the most in his last five games.
NEXT UP, KANSAS CITY
Kansas will be the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 Tournament next week in
Kansas City. The Jayhawks open play at 11:30 a.m. (CT) on Thursday
against either Colorado or Texas Tech.
KU beat Colorado, 72-66, in overtime at Boulder on Feb. 3, and then
knocked off the Buffaloes, 94-74, in Allen Fieldhouse on Feb. 20. The
Jayhawks whipped Texas Tech, 89-63, in the Phog on Jan. 16.
“We struggled with Colorado and didn’t play great against them,” Self
said. “Tech, we played OK against them. Either way, we just need to go
prepare to play three days in a row and hopefully spend more time in
Kansas City then we did in Oklahoma City last year, because that was
the shortest stint in the history of the Big 12 Tournament. We’ll
hopefully get a good week of preparation and get ready to play.”
The Jayhawks were shocked by Baylor, 71-64, in their opening-round game
of the Big 12 Tournament last March 12 in Oklahoma City.
NO. 1, HERE WE COME
The No. 2 Jayhawks will likely move up to No. 1 in the polls on Monday
after top-ranked Syracuse lost at Louisville Saturday, 78-68.