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Updated: Saturday, February 15, 2003 7:42 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(21) Missouri 71, Kansas St 63
KANSAS ST. WILDCATS
Kansas St. Wildcats
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MISSOURI TIGERS
Missouri Tigers
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COLUMBIA, Missouri (Ticker) -- Rickey Paulding scored 19 points and Travon Bryant added 15 and eight rebounds off the bench as No. 21 Missouri held off Kansas State, 71-63, in a Big 12 Conference contest to remain undefeated at home.

Arthur Johnson contributed 14 points and a season-high 17 rebounds for the Tigers (15-6, 6-4 Big 12), who continued to sparkle at home.

Missouri has five road losses and defeats in six of its previous eight games, but raised its record at the Hearnes Center to 12-0.

Tigers coach Quin Snyder was pleased with the way his team bounced back from Wednesday's loss at Texas A&M.

"We were tired," Snyder said. "We had three games in a week, and we have another one Tuesday, so I'm conscious of the minutes some of our guys are playing. I think they recognized that there was a missed opportunity down at A&M and wanted to account for it today."

"I really thought this win was a must," Missouri freshman guard Jimmy McKinney said. "I've been saying from the start that we need to make a run, and right now we need to make a big run. It's time to stop saying we need to do it and do it."

Snyder started freshman Kevin Young at forward instead of Bryant, who tied a season high with four blocks.

"The lineup to me isn't a juggling act," Snyder said. "I think (Young) has earned his opportunity. He's been playing hard and playing defense and rebounding. That's what this team needs from that position."

Young managed just two points and two rebounds in 14 minutes, but Johnson recorded his league-leading 14th double-double of the season and also had a career-high five assists.

"I was just being more assertive with my passes and making the right reads," Johnson said.

Frank Richards matched his career high with 20 points but Kansas State (12-11, 3-7) extended its losing streak to five games and lost for the seventh time in its past eight contests.

"We've talked all season about shooting balance," Kansas State coach Jim Wooldridge said. "One guy scores 20, but you still have sub-par shooting nights somewhere else. It's still hard to win."

Johnson's dunk gave the Tigers a 65-55 lead with 5:16 left, but Wildcats went on an 8-2 spurt to pull within, 63-67 on a jumper by Matt Siebrandt with 1:24 remaining. But they were held without a basket for nine minutes down the stretch.

"It's good for us to learn not to continue to get knocked back when a team does come back on us," Bryant said. "We've just got to continue to execute the plays and play good defense, and the other team will break down eventually."

Josh Kroenke and McKinney each hit a pair of free throws to seal Missouri's 19th straight home victory over Kansas State and fourth in a row overall in the series.

"I think we played the best start of a second have that we've played," McKinney said. "We came out very emotional. I try to keep the team on their toes and emotional, and I think that was the first time we've had a good second start."

Kansas State shot 39 percent (23-of-59), making just 3-of-17 (18 percent) from 3-point range.


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