BY AVERY OSEN
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Hunter Dickinson had 13 points and 16 rebounds, Kevin McCullar Jr. and KJ Adams had 17 points each and No. 2 Kansas beat rival Missouri 73-64 on Saturday.
The Jayhawks closed out the first half on a 14-0 run started by a Elmarko Jackson’s 3-pointer to turn a 2-point deficit into a 41-29 halftime lead.
“They were better than us to start the game, but that run was the difference in the game,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “We made a lot of good basketball plays in the last six minutes of the first half.”
Sean East II led Missouri with 21 points and Nick Honor scored 17, but the Tigers were without one of their guards, Caleb Grill. Grill injured his non-shooting wrist last Sunday and is expected to miss 5-7 weeks. He averages 8.4 points and nearly six rebounds per game.
“We were creating for one another and we just wanted to use the ball screens effectively and I thought we did that well,” Honor said. “We’ve got to learn how to play for the full 40 minutes.”
Missouri kept it close in the second half outscoring Kansas 35-32, but it wasn’t enough to pull off an upset of their border foe and former Big 12 rival.
“I thought our guys played an unbelievable first half other than the last five of the first half and first five of the second half,” Missouri coach Dennis Gates said. “We had an excellent game plan but weren’t able to put a full 40 minutes together. I thought our guys grew up a little bit today. I think we had multiple guys make big plays.”
Kansas dominated in the paint scoring 42 points down low, but were careless with the ball and committed 16 turnovers, which kept Missouri in the game in the first half.
“The food tastes better and the drinks are colder the night that we beat Missouri,” Self said. “I’m leaving out of here really happy that we won, but also that we have got to play better.”
The Jayhawks, who improved to 9-1, shot 25 of 56 while Missouri went 24 for 58 from the floor and fell to 7-3.
ROBINSON JERSEY RETIRED
Prior to the game, Thomas Robinson had his No. 0 jersey retired. He led the Jayhawks to the NCAA title game in 2012 and was named a Consensus All-America First Team that same year.
Missouri: After jumping out a quick lead, they went cold to end the first half and never bounced back.
Kansas: Had a slow start, but their defense locked down in the final few minutes of the first half and never looked back after that. They have their first true road game in their next contest.
Missouri: Hosts Seton Hall next Sunday.
Kansas: Travels to Indiana next Saturday.
AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball