Missouri coach Mike Anderson, left, questions a game official during the first half. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)
Feb. 27, 2010
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - Curtis Kelly had a double-double, Jamar Samuels scored 14 points and No. 6 Kansas State overcame an ugly first 15 minutes to pull out a defense-dominated 63-53 victory over Missouri on Saturday night.
Kansas State (24-4, 11-3 Big 12) buckled under Missouri's pressure early, putting together its worst shooting half in 14 years (18 percent).
Missouri (21-8, 9-5) won the first meeting on Jan. 9 with gritty defense and had Kansas State on its heels early. The Tigers just couldn't sustain it or shake the Wildcats' relentless pressure to lose its sixth straight in the Little Apple.
Kelly had 10 points and 10 rebounds for Kansas State, which was 4 of 17 from 3-point range and shot 33 percent from the floor.
Yeah, it was ugly.
Missouri typically causes problems with its full-court pressure, forcing opponents to speed up and play out of control in what it calls "The Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball."
An underrated part of the Tigers' defense is in halfcourt sets. They're quite good there, too, as Kansas State found out.
The Wildcats had trouble getting anywhere near the basket early, the ball in the hands of guards dribbling along the perimeter or high post players like Luis Colon, who didn't seem to want any part of it.
That left Kansas State to force shots up inside against two and three defenders or hoist long jumpers. The Wildcats missed the few open looks they got as well, opening the game 2 for 22 - with 18 straight misses - as Missouri built an 18-10 lead.
Kansas State's frustration grew with each miss, leading to more forced shots. Coach Frank Martin almost turned purple in anger, both at his players and the officials for the car-crash action under the baskets. The fans got caught up and carried away with the intensity, twice tossing objects onto the floor.
Then, almost in the snap of a fingers, the game took a 180-degree turn.
Kansas State started finding seams in Missouri's defense, reeling off a 10-2 half-closing run started by Jacob Pullen's 3-pointer with just under 6 minutes left. The Tigers also got a dose of Kansas State's suffocating halfcourt D and took their turn forcing shots, closing the half with nine straight misses.
By the time the ugliest 20 minutes of basketball was done, the teams had combined to miss 49 of 64 shots and scored 46 total points. Kansas State and Missouri had at least 46 points in a half by themselves 26 times this season.
And, you guessed it, it was tied, setting up 20 more minutes of physical basketball.
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