COLUMBIA — DeMarre Carroll did his part to make sure No. 16 Kansas didn’t snap the Tigers’ 15-game home winning streak.
Carroll’s game-high 22 points and Zaire Taylor’s second winning shot in five days with 1.3 seconds left gave Missouri a 62-60 win in front of a sellout crowd Monday night at Mizzou Arena. It was the sixth time in the past seven games Carroll scored 19 points or more.
“Their big guys, they weren’t guarding him,” Missouri coach Mike Anderson said after the game. “He’s important to what we do.”
The senior forward sat out the last six minutes of the first half because of foul trouble, and Missouri scored just one point while he sat on the bench. Carroll came out strong in the second half, when he scored 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting and showed no fear attacking Kansas 6-foot-11 center Cole Aldrich.
In front of 10 NBA scouts, Carroll and the Tigers rallied back from a 14-point deficit in the second half despite shooting poorly and being dominated on the glass. As he has all season, Carroll was quick to praise his teammates after the win.
“We just came together as a team,” Carroll said. “We just said we’re not going to lose in our house.”
Carroll has been the rock of the Tigers offense all season, scoring in double figures in 23 out of 25 games. Ten other Tigers have been in double figures at least once, but only Leo Lyons has done it more than nine times.
The rest of the team shot just 28 percent Monday night, and Lyons made four of 15 shots on his way to scoring 13 points. The Tigers’ defense kept them in the game, and Kansas made only one field goal in the final eight minutes.
“We’ve got to give credit to coach,” Carroll said. “He harps on us about defense every day.”
It was the second time in the past three games Missouri had come back from a double-digit deficit to beat a top 25 team. The Tigers did it in Austin, Texas last Wednesday when they beat Texas 69-65. Carroll was held to 13 points in that game, but three other Tigers reached double figures.
Carroll came into the game averaging a team-high 29 minutes per game in Big 12 play, and it was evident just how much Anderson relies on him when he played 17 minutes in the second half. As for the other forwards, Lyons played 13 minutes and Ramsey earned 10 in the second half.
Carroll increased his scoring average for the season to 17.4 points per game, which puts him at fifth in the Big 12 Conference. Anderson has said all season that the “Junkyard Dog” is part of the “heart and soul” of his basketball team, along with defensive specialist J.T. Tiller.
The win moved the No. 17 Tigers to 21-4 overall and 8-2 in conference play. Missouri extended its home winning streak to 16 games, the seventh longest in the nation.
Anderson said he will give his team a day off tomorrow before it goes back to practice on Wednesday. Saturday afternoon, the Tigers will get a chance to avenge their loss to Nebraska at 12:30 p.m. at Mizzou Arena.