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Kansas defeats Tennessee-Chattanooga, 69-55

  • 7 p.m., Nov. 15, 2012
  • Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrence, KS

FINAL: Ben McLemore leads KU to 69-55 win over Chattanooga

By Matt Tait

Ben McLemore's hot first half kept the Kansas University basketball team in it, and the rest of the offense caught up in the second half, as the Jayhawks gutted out a 69-55 victory over upset-minded Chattanooga at Allen Fieldhouse on Thursday night.

The Jayhawks trailed by as many as 10 in the first half and by eight — 36-28 — at the break, thanks largely to six first-half triples from Chattanooga's Farad Cobb.

In the second half, though, Travis Releford drew the defensive assignment and shut Cobb down, and the KU offense responded by pushing the tempo whenever possible for highlight buckets that raised the decibel level each time.

"The seniors played good the second half, awful first half, but really good second half," KU coach Bill Self said. "And Ben was terrific."

McLemore — Self said the freshman dislocated a finger twice in the second half but came back in after getting it popped back into place — led the Jayhawks with 25 points, and Elijah Johnson chipped in 18 as two of the three Jayhawks to reach double figures in scoring. Jeff Withey finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds. McLemore turned in another nice night on the glass, finishing with eight rebounds.

KU hit 7 of 23 three-pointers, and Chattanooga finished the night 11 of 23.

"We had more fun in the second half thanks in large part to defending," Self said.

Here's a quick look back at some of the action.

The game turned when: Kansas responded to its largest deficit of the night — 42-30 — with an 19-1 run in the second half. The Jayhawks were more aggressive on defense and pushed the ball more to pick up easy buckets in transition. During this same stretch, UTC seemed to rely too much on the three-point shot, and the mounting misses only aided KU's surge.

Offensive highlight: Take your pick. During KU's furious rally at the beginning of the second half, there were several transition buckets and three-pointers that were big. But an alley-oop pass from Elijah Johnson to Ben McLemore with 15:22 to play pulled KU within three, ignited the Allen Fieldhouse crowd and came at just the right time for the home team. A little later, McLemore showed he could work the alley-oop from the other end, too, lobbing a perfect pass to Withey, who hammered it home and gave KU a 10-point lead with 6:50 to play.

Defensive highlight: Jamari Traylor's flying swat of Ronrico White with 17:52 to play in the first half sure was the most picturesque defensive play of the night, as Traylor hovered in the air and rocketed the ball out of bounds on his way down. Traylor had a big block the other night against Michigan State and came up with another one in the early going against Chattanooga.

Key stat: Chattanooga's 8-of-14 shooting from three-point land in the first half looked like the easy winner here, but the hot start merely made life more difficult for the Jayhawks, who turned up the defense in the second half and held UTC without a field goal make from the 18:05 mark until 5:30 remained in the game.

Up next: The Jayhawks will play next at 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, when they take on Washington State at Sprint Center on ESPN2.

Box score

Photo gallery

KU coach Bill Self postgame audio

Elijah Johnson, Ben McLemore, Jeff Withey postgame audio

McLemore, seniors take top five spots in ratings

Join the post game discussion

Live coverage (Ended November 15, 2012 at 9:14 p.m.)

Jaybate in reply to Brooksmd

Our young team had an emotional let down after the big MSU game, I guess. Looks like Ben had a big night, but not very efficient with 8-18.

Jhawk7782

Releford was dreadful..

Brooksmd

We played like c..p first half and Self couldn't find a mix that would work.

Jaybate in reply to Jhawk7782

ugh, too bad.

Brooksmd in reply to Jaybate

He didn't get but a couple of minutes.

Jhawk7782 in reply to Jaybate

Like he normally looks..

Jaybate in reply to Brooksmd

Thx. Maybe Self was trying to get KY some work tonight.

Jaybate

How did Andrew White look?

Brooksmd in reply to Jaybate

Jarmari started and I thought he was doing ok but he disappeared for some reason.

Jaybate

Looks like Elijah found someone he could shoot treys over without having to jump much.

Jhawk7782

Maybe EJ is back on track..

Kooky

I'm happy about the win, but there's a ton of stuff that needs to be cleaned up. We don't win this game against conference opponents

Stoops

BMac is nasty!

Iandhi

41-19 second half. This is about what I expected but with the halves reversed.

Jhawk7782 in reply to Rolland Remmert

Thou shalt not covet

Cshjhawk

that was some serious defense in the 2nd half!

Wissoxfan83

One great game for BMac, let's see him do so over and over again which I believe he can. But for now, it's just one great game.

Jaybate

And it looks like Justin never got in and Jamari and Perry got early hooks.

Brian Powell

well, gonna be another fun season to watch as the team develops :))

FINAL
UTC 55
Kansas 69

Jesse Newell

KU outscores UTC, 41-19, in the second half.

Lajayhawk

ROCK CHALK

Lajayhawk

Ugly freakin win. But a win, nonetheless.

Jayhawkinatl

Ugly and painful...but I'll take it.

Rolland Remmert

Makes it even better and sweeter that Bmac was taken right out of the Mizzou back yard and was coveted by them

Stupidmichael

Bench him.

Boouk in reply to Boouk

When it comes to shooting, not the worst player at that position

Lajayhawk

BMac really does have a true all-around game. He does everything from everywhere. Drains it from outside, drives EXTREMELY well. Rises up above the rim. Rebounds. Handles the rock. He's gonna be a great pro.

Melrank

For reference, Brandon averaged 13, with 6 boards, and 2 assists as a FR with no upper classmen help. I'm guessing BMAC will exceed these numbers on a team with 4 SRs. Time will tell, but he's got my vote early.

Brian Powell

such a pure shot..

Jesse Newell

McLemore is up to 25 points.

Stupidmichael in reply to Njhawk

Haha, nice.

Jaybate

I take it AW3 And Rio are not getting beau coup minutes.

Mark Hopkins

Damn I want him one more year!

Ia4jayhawk in reply to Boouk

That's why he plays the 3...

Njhawk in reply to Jaybate

Go away, B8

Iandhi

That dunk will count next year.

Stupidmichael

Effortless. My god.

Boouk

Releford's the worst shooting guard I've ever seen

Iandhi

Is BMac just padding his own stats now.

Lajayhawk

BMac may be pushing a double double after those couple of boards.

Brian Powell

doesn't anyone have the soft touch over the top to a guy posting his man? they passed up about 3 of those looks last poss.

Wissoxfan83 in reply to Jaybate

They turned it around once I arrived at the beginning of the half.

Mark Hopkins

EJ playing much better this half.

Brooksmd in reply to Jaybate

You have no idea.

Iandhi

ice ice baby

Brian Powell

see, EJ can do whatever he wants ;) saved his own butt, there.

Lajayhawk in reply to Melrank

Can't I get some sharks with freaking lasers on their heads.

Mark Hopkins in reply to Brianna Zaleski

I would like to thinks so!

Jhawk7782

Imagine if we had BMac last year.

Jaybate

Just sat down to the box. Must have been pretty ugly so far.

Jesse Newell

First two-pointer of the half for UTC. Now 1-for-11.

Brian Powell in reply to Brianna Zaleski

not at this rate. he'd get drafted with one leg.

Melrank in reply to Lajayhawk

James Bond visual.

Allen Shepard

Jays going for the super improbable cover....

Brian Powell

free tacos if we break 80?

Joe Satterwhite in reply to Brianna Zaleski

No

Lajayhawk in reply to Melrank

I suppose we could just call him JAWS, since he's a great white. :)

Ia4jayhawk

I think tonight will be good for our guys. Tuesday obviously stunk and I think they may have thought they could just show up tonight and win.

Brianna Zaleski

Is there anyway BMac stays next year? Barring injury or major decline in play, of course

Lajayhawk in reply to Melrank

Hahaha. I actually was thinking the same thing....

Littlerockjayhawker

Terrible first half, but Withey just made my day!

Melrank in reply to Lajayhawk

We can't do two word nicknames - I can't type that well.

03:54 left in Second Half
UTC 49
Kansas 63

Jesse Newell

UTC is 0-for-8 from two-point range this half.

Jonas_opines

Chuckle. Withey looked a little surprised that worked out.

Kooky in reply to Stupidmichael

LOL. I was thinking the same thing.

Kesmithstl1

true story

Kent Richardson

like to see a score aroud 75

Lajayhawk

Ha! Are we really going with GREAT WHITE? It does make me smile... :-)

Kesmithstl1

where has that quickness been?

Mark Hopkins

Love to see our guys smile!

Stupidmichael

Travel. Just saying. :)

Lindhawk

Win by 20?

Brian Powell

if he gets that dribble down, he's got the two biggest steps toward the basket ever!

Holidaysmore

GO AHEAD BIG FELLA!!!!!! THROW IT DOWN

Jesse Newell in reply to Stupidmichael

Yes, two minutes.

Joe Satterwhite

Wtf did I just see by Withey lol

Stoops

whitheyyyyyyyyyyy

Mulder07

WHITE OUT IN THE PAINT!!!

Lajayhawk

Ben McLemore may become my new James Sims.

Allen Shepard

That's the Great White right there!

Ia4jayhawk

What a move by Withey!

Brian Powell

nice move, Jeffrey!

Jesse Newell

Withey with the quick-ish move to the rim.

Kesmithstl1 in reply to Jayhawkinatl

better route than any KU receiver.

Mulder07

Releford stop trying to rub your crappy shot off on BMAC....!!!

Stupidmichael

Jesse, has Traylor played this half?

Boouk in reply to Jayhawkinatl

That says a lot

Iandhi

Great follow-thru by BMac

Stoops

I love Ben McLemore

Brian Powell in reply to Jesse Newell

Kevin Love-esqe!

Jayhawkinatl

Better pass than Crist!!!

Ljmhawk

guys releford's shot will come. he's not a great shooter as we know but we all know he can knock it down at times. remember he had 20 at OU last year? I think he needs to stick to the 15-foot jumpers though.

Ia4jayhawk

Absolutely. Good call

Boouk in reply to Kesmithstl1

True

Jesse Newell

Great outlet pass from Withey. Two-handed QB right there.

Lajayhawk in reply to Jesse Newell

Wow. Very, very solid numbers for a Freshman.

Mark Hopkins

B-mac is so quick he should draw a lot of fouls,

Kesmithstl1 in reply to Boouk

they haven't been

Joe Satterwhite

Trav is just bad at shooting

Allen Shepard in reply to Jayhawk2181

Maybe when he earns it....

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