KU hammers Mizzou by 28 as Border War returns to Columbia
COLUMBIA, Mo. (KCTV/AP) — Jalen Wilson had 24 points and 10 rebounds, KJ Adams scored a career-high 19 and sixth-ranked Kansas routed Missouri 95-67 on Saturday in the Jayhawks’ first visit to their old Big 12 rival in more than a decade.
Kevin McCullar Jr. contributed 21 points and Gradey Dick had 16 for the Jayhawks (9-1), who romped past the Tigers last year in Lawrence but were making their first trip to Columbia since Feb. 4, 2012, the year Missouri departed for the SEC.
The fevered pitch for the latest showdown of century-old rivals evaporated in the opening minutes, when Kansas raced to a 30-16 lead. It swelled to 26 points early in the second half before the Jayhawks cruised to the finish.
D’Moi Hodge and Nick Honor scored 15 apiece to lead the Tigers (9-1), who had been one of 10 remaining unbeatens in Division I men’s basketball at the start of the day. Noah Carter finished with 12 points and DeAndre Gholston had 11.
There are rivalries in college basketball and then there is Kansas-Missouri, marked by a pervasive hatred predating James Naismith and his peach baskets to actual guerrilla warfare along their border in the years leading up to the Civil War.
One fan walking through the concourse of Mizzou Arena on Saturday even wore a hat that read “Remember Quantrill” — as in the Confederate sympathizer William Quantrill, who led a massacre in Lawrence, Kansas, in 1863.
So it wasn’t surprising that the smoke billowing out of the tunnel leading to the Tigers’ locker room seemed a little thicker Saturday night. The student section and their notorious bunch known as “the Antlers” a little more vulgar. And the roars of their first sellout crowd this season just a little bit louder.
It didn’t take long for the Jayhawks to silence all of them.
After missing their first two shots, they proceeded to hit 11 straight, including five by Dick. Two of his were effortless 3-pointers, the second giving Kansas a 28-14 lead and prompting Tigers coach Dennis Gates to finally call a timeout.
Not even the return of Hall of Fame basketball coach Norm Stewart nor football coach Gary Pinkel could shake Missouri from its malaise. The Tigers missed 16 of their first 22 shots, allowing the Jayhawks to establish a 36-17 lead — to the chagrin of three-time Cy Young Award winner and former Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer, who also was in the crowd.
Dick and Adams had 15 points apiece by halftime as Kansas took a 50-33 lead to the locker room.
Nothing changed there: Missouri turned the ball over on four of its first six second-half possessions, and the Jayhawks turned the miscues into nine straight points. And despite a second-half slump that allowed Missouri to put together an 11-2 run, the Jayhawks were never seriously threatened down the stretch.
Kansas got sloppy midway through the second half but otherwise was dominant on both ends of the floor. The Jayhawks were 10 of 22 from the 3-point arc, caused 21 turnovers and had 24 assists to just eight for the Tigers.
Missouri has played at a breakneck pace this season, scoring a nation-leading 23.9% of its points on fast breaks. But the more athletic Jayhawks outran the Tigers on Saturday night, outscoring them 22-10 in transition.
The Jayhawks begin a three-game homestand against No. 14 Indiana next Saturday.
The Tigers play Central Florida in the Orange Bowl Classic next Saturday in Sunrise, Florida.
Copyright 2022 KCTV. All rights reserved.