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New Mexico at Kansas coverage

Kansas defeats New Mexico, 80-63

  • 6 p.m., Dec. 14, 2013
  • Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO

FINAL from Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo: Kansas 80, New Mexico 63

By Matt Tait (mtait@ljworld.com) —

Kansas City, Mo. — The Kansas University men's basketball team got back to its winning ways with a hard-fought, 80-63 victory over New Mexico at Sprint Center in Downtown Kansas City.

With Naadir Tharp back in the starting lineup for the Jayhawks, Kansas looked much more like the early-season team we saw and a lot less like the team that suffered back-to-back road losses at Colorado and Florida. Tharpe finished with 9 points and 8 assists in 37 minutes.

KU played harder, tougher and with more confidence, particularly in the second half, when Tharpe dished a bunch of sweet passes to Perry Ellis (21 points) and Joel Embiid (18) that helped the Jayhawks build their largest lead of the day and finish strong.

Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:

• The game turned when: Moments after New Mexico's Kendall Williams did his little shoulder, shimmy-shake, the Jayhawks pulled away with a 5-0 run that pushed the lead back to double-digits with 6:40 to play. The Jayhawks did not enjoy a double-figure lead for long on Saturday and New Mexico made them earn every inch of the leads they did have. It was a huge moment that featured a couple of KU steals, a sweet drive to the rim by Wayne Selden, a monster flush from Joel Embiid and a no-look dime from Naadir Tharpe to Perry Ellis that put Kansas up 72-59 with 5:39 to play.

• Offensive highlight: With 14:35 to play in the second half, Naadir Tharpe threw a lob to Joel Embiid, who got up to get it but could not do anything with it. Instead of forcing a turnover, Embiid merely caught it, composed himself and then made a move to the rim that resulted in a reverse layup over his head and a huge roar from the KU crowd, as the Jayhawks went up by double digits for the first time in the game.

• Defensive highlight: Andrew Wiggins had a sweet block of New Mexico's Cameron Bairstow late in the first half after a scrum for a loose ball, but it paled in comparison to the block from Joel Embiid early in the second half. After hustling to save the ball from going out of bounds, New Mexico's Cleveland Thomas caught a pass in the deep corner and then drove to the rim down what seemed to be a wide open path. A second or two later, as Thomas neared the hoop, Embiid pinned his layup attempt against the backboard and the Jayhawks were off and running.

• Key stat: Field goal percentage. The Jayhawks shot 52 percent for the game, but more importantly limited UNM to 33 percent shooting and often limited the Lobos to one-shot possessions.

• Up next: The Jayhawks will finally return to Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday, Dec. 21, for an 11 a.m. match-up with Georgetown.

Box Score

Join the post game discussion

Live coverage (Ended December 14, 2013 at 9 p.m.)

Lajayhawk in reply to Stupidmichael

1 board away from a double double.

00:00 left in Second Half
New Mexico 63
Kansas 80

Matt Tait KUsports.com staff

Sorry for the delay here... Wireless issues at Sprint Center. Huge, convincing victory for the Jayhawks, though. Keep it right here for all the postgame coverage.

Stupidmichael

Perry is the key. Write it down. KU will not lose this season when Perry scores above his season average.

Lajayhawk in reply to Lajayhawk

And 5-6 from the floor. Remarkably efficient player considering he started balling, like, yesterday.

Lajayhawk

BEED: 18 points, 6 boards, 4 blocks, 3 steals, 8-10 from the line. Kid is getting so much better every game.

Bwag

All games tough

Lajayhawk in reply to Colreader

On KenPom, I mean.

Lajayhawk in reply to Colreader

Top 25

Kim Staples

Good to see some Jayhawk swagger back! Rock chalk!

Chuck Wagstaff

See y'all next week

Colreader

Georgetown next weekend. How good are they?

Jaycon11

Incremental progress against the zone, and beat the spread. Not a bad day.

Bryce Landon

I like our chances against G'Town so much better after what I saw tonight.

Bwag

Home is where the heart is

Lajayhawk

Winston won the Heisman.

Rodney Crain

Very nice

Jmfitz85 in reply to Bryce Landon

Nailed it

Jaycon11

Y-e-s

Mojayhawk

Second half. Second half. Second half.

Rodney Crain

Nice job tonight

Lajayhawk

Rock Chalk

Nice bounce back.

Pam Goad

What an improvement! Awesome!!

Bryce Landon in reply to Jmfitz85

He makes plays you can't coach, and plays that make it look like he's never been coached. ;)

Lajayhawk in reply to Bryce Landon

Jesse says 2 minutes.

Bryce Landon in reply to Lajayhawk

Now that you mention it, I don't recall seeing #0 out there much at all.

Bwag

5-4-2-2-2 points by other NM players

Jmfitz85

Tharpe makes you go from "Wow" to "wtf" in seconds ...

Jaycon11 in reply to Lajayhawk

1 min I think.

Jaycon11

Ouch

Lajayhawk

Has Mason even played this half? Don't remember it.

Matt Tait KUsports.com staff

Overhead in the KU student section after that Tharpe three-pointer "He's back. He's back."

Bryce Landon

DAGGER

Lajayhawk

Fire in the belly. Me likey.

Lajayhawk in reply to Bwag

Yep. My guru.

Bwag in reply to Lajayhawk

Saw you checked the Source for PPP

Jaycon11 in reply to Lajayhawk

They lack the "want to."

Matt Tait KUsports.com staff

Alex Kirk fouls out for the Lobos.

Rodney Crain

Much better urgency tonight

Lajayhawk in reply to Bwag

Ah. Gotcha. A lot of double posts from me then. :-)

Bwag

PE-21; JE-17; Wig-11

03:34 left in Second Half
New Mexico 59
Kansas 74

Matt Tait KUsports.com staff

Under-4 timeout at Sprint Center...

Bwag in reply to Lajayhawk

No not that one, just monitor

Bwag

Wiggins 1 PT this half still.

Lajayhawk in reply to Bwag

Name?

Lindhawk

Little bit of swag back tonight

Lajayhawk in reply to Jaycon11

UNM looks gassed, too. Their defense is a fragile as a newborn right now.

Bwag in reply to Lajayhawk

Yep

Lindhawk

Sky for that board

Jaycon11

Improved offense feeding off of vastly improved man defense, which is a reflection of Self-confidence.

Brian Powell

always look for the give and go on a break.. . Perry should be heading to the basket, not the corner. Shared blame. Still should look when you pass it -- no one is defending it really, so no need!

Lindhawk

1

Lajayhawk in reply to Bwag

You on the blog?

Matt Tait KUsports.com staff

Tharpe looks like a shooter in a zone right now... Only he wants to make sweet passes instead.

Lajayhawk

BEED is a ridiculous defender. Ridiculous.

Bwag in reply to Lajayhawk

That was one of Jesse's pre game points

05:10 left in Second Half
New Mexico 59
Kansas 73

Matt Tait KUsports.com staff

10-1 KU run has put the Jayhawks back in front comfortably.

Lajayhawk

Ok, it wasn't a travel. :-)

Jaycon11

The "start Mason" brigade has gone underground.

Surrealku

now that's what i'm talking about. that's Tharpe's job as a PG!!

Rodney Crain

Finally the Tharpe from last year

Lajayhawk

UNM basically applying no pressure at all now. They must be tired. Zone looks super weak.

Bryce Landon

This Kansas team is growing up before our eyes.

Colreader

These short bounce passes really work!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brian Powell

he cracked a smile, love it

Jmfitz85

O-M-Beeeeed!

Surrealku

That''s a good pass & finish there

Chuck Wagstaff

Not nearly as many stupid treys tonight....

Lindhawk

Nice

Jaycon11

That replay of Tharpe in transition is what sold me on him when seeing that kind of thing in his HS reels.

Lajayhawk

GREAT LOOK.

Bwag in reply to Lajayhawk

Euro step

Lajayhawk

I disagree. I think Mason is more of a pure point guard than anyone.

Bwag

NM has 44 points by 2 players

Lajayhawk

Ha. That was a weak whistle in our favor. I didn't even see the contact.

Surrealku

thanks to Embiid long arm!

Matt Tait KUsports.com staff

Coolest thing about that Selden bucket.... 4 Jayhawk hands were above the rim in case it came off... Team playing much, much harder today.

Lajayhawk

Think Naa got away with a travel.

Matt Tait KUsports.com staff

Kansas players Joel Embiid, Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden defend as New Mexico forward Cameron Bairstow puts up a shot during the first half on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas players Joel Embiid, Perry Ellis and Wayne Selden defend as New Mexico forward Cameron Bairstow puts up a shot during the first half on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. by Nick Krug

Don Burgundy

These soft fouls will be the death of me

Lajayhawk

Durant was a ridiculous college player. Maybe the best I ever watched live.

Bryce Landon

It's amazing how this Kansas team can turn it on and off in a heartbeat.

Jmfitz85

Can we just close a f@&$%#g game out ... Seriously

Bwag in reply to Chuck Wagstaff

Nice

Matt Tait KUsports.com staff

Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins drives to the bucket against New Mexico guard Deshawn Delaney during the first half on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins drives to the bucket against New Mexico guard Deshawn Delaney during the first half on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. by Nick Krug

Surrealku

we didn't do a good job on their screen plays. especially on Kendall.

Lajayhawk in reply to Bwag

I don't think it should have been whistled, but he did bump his arm.

Chuck Wagstaff

College hoops now has a 35-second shot clock and a 30-second foul clock.

Bwag in reply to Lajayhawk

Not sure about that

Crimsonphoenix

So I know they changed the way they call the rules, but you're supposed to touch the guy for it to be a foul, right?

Bwag in reply to Matt Tait

Wasn't, but realize that wasn't the call

Lajayhawk

He hit his arm, after the fact. It was light, but he hit it.

Jmfitz85

Did you see the shoulder shuffle after that? What a $&@%

Matt Tait KUsports.com staff

Former Kansas player and New Mexico forward Merv Lindsay listens during a huddle in the first half on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Former Kansas player and New Mexico forward Merv Lindsay listens during a huddle in the first half on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo. by Nick Krug

Matt Tait KUsports.com staff

Some more first-half images from Nick Krug...

Brian Powell

did Wiggins even touch him?

Jaycon11

Are you s#|!!|ng me?

Lindhawk

Horrible call did not touch him

08:03 left in Second Half
New Mexico 58
Kansas 63

Matt Tait KUsports.com staff

After a huge and-one for Perry Ellis that pushed the KU lead back to nine, Kendall Williams drilled a three-pointer and was fouled

Bwag

No touch

Lindhawk

Wtf

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