The final scheduled Boarder War showdown again lived up to hype, as the two seemingly evenly matched teams of Mizzou and Kansas battle for one last time (as of now) in AFH.
The two squads traded baskets early, and the first 14 or so minutes of the first half was virtually deadlocked. Then, Mizzou went on a 16-2 run with Jeff Withey and Thomas Robinson strapped with two fouls each.
Now with a comfortable lead and momentum, Mizzou raced out to another run early in the second half and was able to briefly push the lead to 19 after a Marcus Denmon three. However for Mizzou that point in the game was their apex.
After the three Bill Self substituted in Kevin Young and Conner Tehan and with the help those two bench players, Kansas began to chip at the lead. A Tehan three, a Kevin Young dunk, a Tehan three, a Kevin Young hustle rebound; plays were starting to be made and the home crowd started to again roar at a feverish pitch.
A helpful facet to the Kansas run was the inability for Mizzou to score a field goal for about seven minutes. Now in foul trouble themselves, the seemingly once dominant MIzzou Tigers were now becoming less aggressive to the rim and settling for ill-advised threes.
Despite the run, Mizzou was still in great position to win the game. Up three with the ball and a minute left in regulation a good possession in all likely hood ends any chance of a Kansas win. However the Tigers were unable to once again get to the bucket and settled for another bad shot.
On the next possession Kansas was able to execute and got an “and 1” from Thomas Robinson. The final Mizzou possession ended in a block by Robinson of guard Flip Pressey as time ran out.
In the overtime period Kansas jumped to a 5 point lead and the Tigers were now the ones on their heels. Despondent but not discouraged, Denmon singlehandedly kept Mizzou from crumbling under the pressure by hitting two crucial answer shots that actually gave the Tigers the lead going into Kansas final possession.
After a Denmon one-handed fade away over Thomas Robinson, Tyshawn Taylor was able to race down the court and draw a foul (albeit very suspect) call on Flip Pressey with about 8 seconds left. After two clutch free throws Mizzou’s Michael Dixon “mis-ran” a play and Mizzou was unable to get the final shot off in time.
In perhaps the greatest Boarder War game in the history of the storied rivalry, Kansas was able to valiantly fight back. The game featured clutch play after clutch play and by far set itself apart from any other game that day, maybe this year for that matter. It is a shame that this might be the last time we see these two teams in AFH or Mizzou arena and it is a shame that this game couldn’t be played every night.
Here’s for a Boarder War rubber match in KC.