Kim English sits on the floor, frustrated after being called for another personal foul. English had three of the Tigers' 25 fouls. Photo by Chris Spurlock.
Despite forcing Kansas into 24 turnovers, the Tigers lost their first game at home to the rival Jayhawks.
The Tigers threw up 23 three pointers and connected only three times. Kansas head coach Bill Self gave his team’s defense for some of those misses, but credited Missouri with finding a substantial amount of open shots behind the arc.
Aside from Laurence Bowers, no player on the home team made more than a third of their attempts. Kansas capitalized with a massive surplus in rebounds, led by forward Thomas Robinson who had a season-high 13. Without such hustle under the basket, Kansas may have given Missouri an undefeated home record for the 2010-2011 season.
“It’s tough. They have size and those guys can jump. But there is a technique and an art to getting defensive rebounds. You have to box out and not let your man get the rebound. Your job is to not let your man get the rebound,” guard Michael Dixon Jr. said.
Head coach Mike Anderson seemed more upbeat than one might expect after a loss to a bitter rival. Missouri pulled within four points late in the game, finally getting shots to fall and finding quality production from their bigs.
“We were down by 13 late in the game, and then we scored nine straight points to cut it to four. We gave a great effort tonight, and one of the things I love about our team is that our players don’t give up. Laurence Bowers and Ricardo Ratliffe in particular played hard inside, along with Steve Moore,” Anderson said.
MU forward Laurence Bowers led all scorers with 22 points. KU’s Marcus Morris contributed 21 for the Jayhawks.
Ultimately, Missouri doubled up Kansas in turnovers forced, Kansas destroyed Missouri on the boards, but only one team found their shooting touch.
Marcus Denmon said the teams played a similar game to their first meeting, a high-scoring defeat for the Tigers in Lawrence.
“I feel that we got good ball movement and (got) the shots that we wanted. We just didn’t knock the shots down,” Denmon said.