For most of the first half, it looked like Missouri Basketball was fully prepared to take down Kansas on their home court, a place where the Jayhawks have only lost twice in the past two seasons. Missouri took the early lead. In a game where neither team shot particularly well in the first half, the Tigers extended their lead to nine points after seven minutes. But a 20-2 run by Kansas over the final six minutes of the half erased Missouri’s lead and put the Jayhawks up 12 points going into the break. Sean East II led Mizzou with 12 points before the break.
Most of the second half didn’t go Missouri’s way either. Kansas pushed their lead to 18 points with about nine minutes to play in the game. After a 7-2 run by Connor Vanover and a couple of big threes from Nick Honor, Missouri only found themselves down 8 with under three minutes to play. But that would be the closest the Tigers would get over the final minutes of the game, ultimately dropping the game 73-64. Sean East II led all scorers with 21 points, his sixth 20-point game of the season. Nick Honor also had a strong offensive performance adding 17 points.
Even though Missouri didn’t pull off the upset in this one, not everything was bad for the Tigers. They showed that even in the most hostile of arenas, the game was not too big for them, and fought until the end to get back in this game. But it’s always a little easier to focus on the areas of improvement after a loss. Here are my three takeaways after the nine-point loss to Kansas.