Kansas wears down MU men’s basketball team

KU forward Darrell Arthur scores on MU Tigers guard Matt Lawrence.

January 19, 2008 | 11:02 p.m. CST
COLUMBIA — Too much talent.
It was No. 3 Kansas’ balance and depth that outweighed Missouri’s star on Saturday night at Mizzou Arena.
MU Tigers guard Matt Lawrence reacts to an intentional fault decision against him by one ...

MU Tigers Forward DeMarre Carroll attempts to score over KU's Sasha Kaun.

Kansas forward Sasha Kaun dunks in the second half as Missouri's student section looks on.

Late in the second half, Keon Lawrence and Leo Lyons react as Kansas begins to ...

Missouri forward DeMarre Carroll is blocked out by Kansas' Darnell Jackson in the first half ...

Guard Stefhon Hannah did his best to bring the Missouri men’s basketball team a victory with 23 points, but No. 3 Kansas had four players in double figures, and that proved to be too much in a 76-70 Jayhawks victory Saturday at Mizzou Arena.
“He does so many things that he tries to do so much for our basketball team,” Missouri coach Anderson said of Hannah. “You’ve got to have some other guys step up.”

Guards Brandon Rush and Mario Chalmers and forwards Darnell Jackson and Darrell Arthur all scored 10 points or more for the Jayhawks, while only Leo Lyons was able to join Hannah in double figures for the Tigers.

Anderson said the Tigers got a good effort on defense and rebounding from DeMarre Carroll, Missouri’s leading scorer this season, but Carroll struggled to score points. Carroll snagged 12 rebounds, but only made two of his 11 shot attempts and was just 1-6 from the free-throw line for five points.

“I missed shots I know I can make,” Carroll said. “If you give me a chance right now I’ll make a ton. I don’t know why I missed them. I had a tough night.”

Free throws were a big difference in the game. Kansas shot a whopping 45, making 28. Missouri only attempted 22 and made just 11.

“I think that’s where they won the game at, the free-throw line,” forward Marshall Brown said. “I felt like if we don’t put them on the line as much, then we’re right there in it.”

Kansas coach Bill Self was on the same line of thinking that Brown was.

“I’m certainly not going to complain about the number we shot,” Self said. “That doesn’t happen a lot on the road. We made just enough to win the game.”

The Tigers got off to a quick start with a 7-1 run to start the game, but Kansas quickly erased that lead and slowly built one of its own. After leading 38-36 at the half, the Jayhawks never trailed.

“That was a good team,” Carroll said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that they are a Final Four type team.”

With how good the Jayhawks have been this season, it was easy to think that Missouri might not even come close. After all, Kansas had blown out just about everybody on its schedule.

“If anybody thought that we would win this game big over here, then they probably don’t really understand college athletics,” Self said. “I certainly didn’t anticipate anything other than a grind-it-out game.”

The six-point margin of victory was the third closet game Kansas had played this year.

The chances were there for the Tigers to grab another Big 12 Conference victory against a ranked opponent, but when they really needed it, the points didn’t come.

“The ball just didn’t go in the hole tonight,” Anderson said.

The Jayhawks remained perfect on the season at 18-0 and 3-0 in conference play. It was the second consecutive loss for Missouri, dropping it to 11-7 and 1-2 in the Big 12.