Denmon, Dixon’s late free throws help lead No. 4 Mizzou past No. 8 Kansas, 74-71

Mizzou ends game on 11-0 run in Border Showdown for the ages

Story by Ryan Williams

Photos by Kaveh Kaghazi

Seniors Kim English and Marcus Denmon combined for 47 of the Tigers 74 points. English and Denmon were on the last Missouri team to beat KU (2009).

No. 4 Missouri faced a scare last Monday playing in Austin, Texas garnering a win due to a late left-handed layup from Michael Dixon. On Saturday, Dixon had the chance to play hero again going to the free-throw line with his team up by one with 10 seconds remaining.

Dixon, a 91 percent free-throw shooter on the year, made both free throws when they counted and sealed a 74-71 victory for the Tigers against the No. 8 Kansas Jayhawks in the 266th meeting between the two teams.

“The most important thing I heard Kim [English] say was ‘We’re gonna win this game’ and that was something that affected me because I knew how much it meant to him to say that,” Dixon said. “I felt we needed to come out and execute.”

Dixon’s free throws came 30 seconds after KU senior point guard Tyshawn Taylor had just missed two free throws for Kansas. Taylor had a remarkable game, scoring 21 points in 38 minutes of play despite struggling late in the second half.

“He’s damn good,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “He played so well the first half and kept us in the game…the second half he just didn’t make good decisions down the stretch, but I’d put the ball in his hands any day.”

Not to be overshadowed by Dixon was Marcus Denmon, who scored 29 points, including six in the final 2:05 to put the Tigers in a position to win the game.

“When you want to win you buy into the coaching staff, the system and whatever you have to do to get wins and I think that’s what me and my teammates did tonight,” Denmon said.

Coming into the game Saturday, Denmon had not been shooting the ball well, making just 11 of his last 47 shot attempts. Denmon made clear that would not be the case for him on Saturday.

Missouri coach Frank Haith said Denmon spent extra time in the gym this week shooting the ball. That showed as Denmon made six 3-pointers and shot close to 63 percent from the floor.

“He put a lot of extra time in,” Haith said. “We talked to Marcus about coming in and doing some stuff in the morning and staying late after practice.”

Before Saturday, Denmon had never scored more than 20 points or made more than five field goals against the Jayhawks. Senior Kim English also has not had much success against Kansas. English showed up on Saturday, scoring 18 points and playing solid defense on Kansas center Jeff Withey.

Kansas junior Thomas Robinson led his team with 19 of his 25 points coming in the second half and 13 rebounds, while limiting Tigers center Ricardo Ratliffe to only 20 minutes of playing time due to foul trouble.

Saturday’s win was just the second Missouri victory against Kansas in its last 12 attempts. It’s uncertain how many more meetings there will be after the Tigers visit Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kan. Feb. 25 due to MU’s move to the SEC.

“I think it would be a shame if we could not continue this game,” Haith said. “It’s great for the game to have us play.”

The Missouri Tigers next game is Monday Feb. 6 versus the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman, Okla. at 6 p.m.

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One response to “Denmon, Dixon’s late free throws help lead No. 4 Mizzou past No. 8 Kansas, 74-71

  1. Pingback: KC SportsNation » Border War Final Chapter, Part 1 Photos, Quotes & Links » KC SportsNation

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