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February 4, 2008

Border War Blowout

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Playing inside the comfy confines of Allen Fieldhouse for the first time since losing to Kansas State, No. 4/5 ranked Kansas (22-1; 7-1) returned home on Monday night to face Missouri (13-10; 3-5). The Jayhawks, behind a team-high 19-points from junior guard Brandon Rush, wasted little time in disposing of the Tigers. In all, five players scored in double-figures for KU, as they completely dominated MU, 90-71.

The Kansas Jayhawks appear to be back on track. After losing to Kansas State last Wednesday night, Bill Self's squad has won its last two games in convincing fashion.

After defeating Colorado by 13-points on Saturday, Kansas, returning home for the Border War Showdown, took things a step further against Missouri, as they defeated the Tigers, 90-71.

"It was great. It was just good to get back home," said Rush. "There was a lot of great energy. We knew not to take them lightly just because they are Missouri. We aren't really friendly with Missouri at all.

"We just tried to take it at them real hard," he added. "They fought back and stayed in the gamed for a little bit."

Kansas led from start-to-finish and wasted little time in disposing of Missouri. Rush got the scoring started with a three from the wing. On the following possession, Darrell Arthur made the score 5-0 with a thunderous dunk on a nice feed from Rush.

From that point on, the Jayhawks were off and running. The Tigers managed to hang around for about 10 minutes, but by the second media timeout arrived, Self's squad had an eight-point lead.

In all, five players, Rush (19), Mario Chalmers (15), Arthur (13), Sherron Collins (12) and Sasha Kaun (12) all scored in double-figures. Kansas out rebounded Missouri, 48-25, and grabbed 19 offensive rebounds.

Kaun had five points in the early run as the Jayhawks rolled into halftime with a 45-33 lead en route to their 30th victory in their last 31 regular-season games.

Arthur scored nine points in a second-half surge that carried No. 4 Kansas past Missouri 90-71 Monday night, giving the Jayhawks their 20th straight home victory and a season sweep of their archrivals.

Arthur, held to just two points in the first half after getting his third foul, had 11 points in the second half and was all the offense Kansas had for about a 4-minute stretch. He hit a jumper in the lane to make it 60-47, then added another bucket a moment later, drilled two free throws, hit two more from the foul line and made it 67-51 with another free throw.

Defensively, Kansas simply suffocated Missouri on Monday night. The Tigers connected on just 28-of-60 field goals and were 0-of-10 from behind arc. Four players, Keon Lawrence (25), DeMarre Carroll (13), J.T. Tiller (13), and Leo Lyons (13) all scored in double-figures.

However, Rush limited Matt Lawrence to just one-points on 0-6 shoot from the field and was 0-5 from behind the arc.

One of the biggest bright spots of the game was the play of senior Sasha Kaun. With Darrell Arthur on the bench due to foul trouble, Kaun simply took his game another level.

In just 13 minutes of action, Kaun connected on 5-of-8 field goals, was 2-of-2 from the free-throw line and grabbed four rebounds.

"I thought Sasha was great," said Self. "He and Cole (Aldrich) bailed us out in the first half. It's ridiculous that Shady gets three fouls in two minutes. It didn't matter tonight because Sasha and Cole played so well.

"I thought Sasha was terrific," he added.


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