COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Intimidated by its own fans early, No. 17 Missouri settled down in time to knock off bitter border rival Kansas.
Zaire Taylor hit a 10-footer from just outside the lane with 1.3 seconds to go, capping the Tigers' comeback from a 14-point halftime deficit in a 62-60 victory over No. 16 Kansas on Monday night.
"We didn't come out playing Mizzou basketball, because we had several guys who had never played in this atmosphere before," Taylor said. "I never knew until today how serious this rivalry is. It's amazing."
DeMarre Carroll had 22 points and seven rebounds for the Tigers (21-4, 8-2 Big 12), who won their 16th in a row at home against a bitter border rival that had beaten them five straight times. Fans from a raucous sellout crowd of 15,061 mobbed the floor after Cole Aldrich's desperation shot banged off the backboard at the buzzer as he was being knocked to the floor.
"I was scared I might get hurt," Taylor said. "I've never been a part of anything like this."
Aldrich had 15 rebounds, five blocked shots and eight points for Kansas (19-5, 8-1), which entered with an eight-game winning streak and as one of only six Division I schools unbeaten in conference play. Tyshawn Taylor added 11 points but leading scorer Sherron Collins was held to nine points, nine below his average, on 4-for-13 shooting.
"The thing about it is if we say we played poorly, it takes away from Missouri," coach Bill Self said. "Missouri's effort was fabulous. We had the game and we didn't finish."
Missouri called timeout after Mario Little's basket from the baseline tied it with 29 seconds to go, then used almost all the time before Taylor popped free for his second winning shot in three games. Taylor, who finished with only seven points, also got the go-ahead basket in a victory at Texas on Wednesday and pump-faked a defender in the air before taking the shot.
Missouri has won eight of nine, a run that enabled them to crack the Top 25 for the second time this season. The Tigers lasted only one week the first time after getting blown out by Illinois in St. Louis on Dec. 23.
Kansas dominated on the boards, outrebounding Missouri 48-28, but was undone by a season-worst 27 turnovers — six more than the previous high. The Jayhawks also went cold down the stretch, limited to one basket the final eight minutes.
"We did such a poor job attacking and we did a bad job with shots," Self said. "That's frustrating for us."
The turnover count helped Missouri win despite season-worst 36.4 percent shooting. The Tigers dug themselves a hole in the first half by shooting only 24 percent.
Kansas led 30-16 at the half, ignoring the pre-game atmosphere that featured Missouri mascot Truman the Tiger being lowered from the rafters in a harness, a throwback to a stunt the school used before every game at the old Hearnes Center. The Jayhawks seized control despite 36-percent shooting, including 2-for-12 from 3-point range and Collins' 2-for-8 start, mostly because they dominated on the boards with a 30-15 advantage.
"Coach just looked at us and kind of laughed, like 'You're at home, calm down,'" Carroll said. "Everybody looked at each other and started laughing and we said, 'Let's go and get it.'"
Missouri's first-half scoring was a season low, two points fewer than in the Big 12 opener at Nebraska, with the frustration capped when freshman Marcus Denmon blew a pair of free throws with 8.7 seconds to go.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
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