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Kansas defeats Duke, 94-83

  • 8:30 p.m., Nov. 12, 2013
  • United Center, Chicago, IL

Final: Kansas defeats Duke, 94-83, in Chicago

By Matt Tait

<p>mtait@ljworld.com>

It was billed as a battle of the super stars, and neither KU's Andrew Wiggins (22 points, 10 rebounds) nor Duke's Jabari Parker (27 points, 9 rebounds, 19 points in the first half) let us down.

But it was Perry Ellis, who poured in a career-high 24 points, who stole the show in leading fifth-ranked Kansas University to a 94-83 victory over No. 4 Duke at the United Center in Chicago.

Ellis was sensational in the first half to keep KU close and then flashed his entire repertoire in the second half, playing D, hitting free throws and even knocking down a three-pointer.

He finished 9-of-13 from the field, 5-of-6 from the free throw line and added seven rebounds, two assists and two steals to help KU improve to 2-0 on the season.

After a slow start in which he only played nine minutes in the first half, Wiggins finished with a bang, picking up a bunch of key buckets in the second half and, perhaps more importantly, finally flashing some of that swagger and excitement that people have come to expect.

Seasons are not made or broken in November, but there's no question that this was a huge victory for the young Jayhawks.

“We didn't guard the ball worth a flip, but we did compete and we made our free throws late,” Self told ESPN's Andy Katz after the win. “We've got a long ways to go, but it was nice to see Wayne (Selden) step up, Jo (Embiid) was great and I thought Frank (Mason) was terrific.”

All three, along with Wiggins are freshmen, as is Duke's Parker and Kentucky's Julius Randle, who looked great in the opening game won by Michigan State. Self, asked by Katz about this year's freshman class, simply smiled and said: “They're pretty good. I'm glad we got one of them.”

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

The game turned when: Perry Ellis made a solid one-on-one move midway through the second half that cut Duke's lead to 56-53. Ellis' bucket was followed by Frank Mason steal and dunk from Ellis on a sweet dime from Wayne Selden. The mini-run pulled KU to within 56-55 and forced Duke into a timeout with 13 minutes left. Three trips and a couple minutes later, a breakaway dunk from Wiggins gave KU a 61-60 lead.

Offensive highlight: How about the transition alley-oop early in the second half from Frank Mason to Andrew Wiggins, who flew through the air and hung long enough and high enough to catch the slightly underthrown lob and still flush it. There wasn't a ton of power behind it, but the whole play was a picture of grace and athleticism.

Defensive highlight: Perry Ellis' steal and dish ahead with 1:17 to play gave KU an 87-81 lead and led to the moment of the night from Wiggins, who followed up a sweet step-back jumper with a high-flying finish and an explosion of emotion in front of the KU bench. The steal started it all, though. Just another way Ellis put his stamp all over this one.

Key stat: Wayne Selden's entire line: 5-of-10 from the floor for 15 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Others had bigger numbers, but so many of Selden's stats came at critical times, either at key moments in the game or when the Jayhawks needed a calming force.

Up next: The Jayhawks get a week off and will return to action next Tuesday for a home game against Iona at 7 p.m. at Allen Fieldhouse.

Check back to KUSports.com later for much more about the Jayhawks' victory

Box score

Comments

Benz Junque 5 years, 10 months ago

How many games before Frank Mason is our starting PG? Tharpe was not the best PG on our roster tonight. Mason will be at the helm come conference time...

Ethan Berger 5 years, 10 months ago

Disagree completely. While Mason was and has been very good to this point, Tharpe is what this team needs. The flow was much more comfortable with Tharpe running point. Heck, when both were on the court together is when the offense clicked at its best. However, while Frank did well, few times he dribbled to deep and put our offense in bad positions. He is a Freshman so that should happen. Tharpe hasn't played much and still needs to gel. Tharpe had some bad turnovers but he provides offense that Mason just can't do yet.

Bryce Landon 5 years, 10 months ago

Perry Ellis deserves the game ball. He was solid all night long and helped turn the momentum in our favor when it looked like Duke was going to pull away when they went ahead 56-51.

Steve Kubler 5 years, 10 months ago

Love seeing the team coming together already. SO much better team play, out of everyone.

Ted Adams 5 years, 10 months ago

PERRY F'ING ELLIS! You can't stop him. You can only hope to contain him!

He absolutely CARRIED this team for 40 minutes. His steal to Wiggins for the dunk, the harm, and Jabari to foul out was poetic justice.

I know the rules are different now, but the foul calls were so inconsistant it was mind melting.

Ben Schwartz 5 years, 10 months ago

Xavier over Withey Top10 #1 made me chuckle. KU all over ESPN tonight.

Also, let's talk about Okafor who watched us hammer it out tonight, and his buddy Tyus. All those guys have to be feeling it a little, too

Ethan Berger 5 years, 10 months ago

Things I learned tonight

1) Perry Ellis is the most under-rated player in the nation. While Parker was the best player on the floor tonight, Perry was a close second. He is an excellent low-post offensive player and has improved greatly on defense.

2) Andrew Wiggins is so good that his off night consisted of 22 pts and 10 boards. With every team doing all they can to stop him, its going to open up other players to shine. Which could help us go a long way come tourney time

3) Greene in two years will be a lotto pick. His shooting motion is slick, he has good enough handles and can create offense. We might not see this come out until Tourney time but he will be a force in college ball in 2 years max.

4) Frank Mason was the steal of the class. Tharpe should run point as I felt the offense ran more smooth with him, but dang for a Freshman in Mason spot to come in and do what he has done is amazing. He will be the x factor all year.

5) If we can learn to play defense, its over. The new rules make it hard but dang we let Parker hit to many open treys. It will be fixed and we will get better, which is making OSU pee their pants.

RCJHKU!

Ben Schwartz 5 years, 10 months ago

Ellis is just too suave in the lane. It seems like every time he throws the ball up near the rim it rolls in.

RJ King 5 years, 10 months ago

Key Stat #2: KU free throws: 27-35 (77%) Duke: 16-28 (57%)

Sub Stat: Frank Mason = 11 for 12 at the charity stripe.

Keep driving Frankie!

Jack Jones 5 years, 10 months ago

A really great win for several reasons ~ would never have expected that Coach Self would have a team with so little D-1, big-time game experience to be ready to play and win a game like this one ~ in such a impressive way. To be able to compete in a high scoring, intense throughout , "big stage" game against a historically dominant program like Duke ~ speaks volumes about the pure talent and competitive will of the players on this team ~ (not to mention our Coach). In an unexpected twist ~ it seems to me that the onerous 'foul rule changes' just might be to our advantage ~ given our free throw shooting ability, plus our obvious depth advantage.

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