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Kansas defeats Texas Tech, 64-63

  • 7 p.m., Feb. 18, 2014
  • United Supermarkets Arena, Lubbock, TX

FINAL: Kansas 64, Texas Tech 63

By Benton Smith --- basmith@ljworld.com --- 

Joel Embiid scored 18 points, grabbed eight rebounds and inadvertently set up Andrew Wiggins' game-winner in the closing seconds as Kansas escaped Texas Tech with a 64-63 road victory.

Down a point at Lubbock, Texas, with 12.8 seconds to play, the No. 8 Jayhawks (20-6 overall, 11-2 Big 12) came out of a timeout in need of a basket to win.

Naadir Tharpe swung the ball to Perry Ellis, who dumped it inside to Embiid, on the right block. When the 7-foot freshman center, who missed KU's game on Saturday with an ailing back and knee, turned toward the basket the ball escaped his hands.

Wiggins found the ball and secured it before the Red Raiders (13-13, 5-8) could capitalize, and the freshman guard scored with a short, floating shot in the paint, that bounced off the rim for dramatic effect before falling through to give KU the win.

Wiggins finished with 19 points on 6-for-11 shooting and six rebounds.

It was the second time in the final minute one freshman superstar saved the other. Wiggins missed a dunk with just more than 30 seconds to play, and Embiid grabbed the offensive rebound to finish with a slam.

That gave Kansas a temporary 62-61 lead before Embiid fouled Robert Turner and the Red Raiders junior guard hit both ends of a one-and-one with 16 seconds left, setting up the Jayhawks' final possession.

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

• The game turned when: Selden knocked in a 3-pointer with 2:35 to play. The freshman guard had made just 1 of his first 7 shots before his crunch-time bomb cut Tech's lead to 59-58. From that point on, a young KU team that hadn't handled a hostile United Spirit Arena or a slower Tech pace too well, realized it could still win the game.

• Offensive highlight: Other than the last two baskets, which were pretty remarkable in their own right, there were a few strong candidates in this one, despite a slow pace driven by Texas Tech's style. Tharpe dribbled past an open Selden, then the junior point guard bounced a pass between his own legs, behind him, to Selden for a 3-pointer that put Kansas ahead, 14-5, just more than five minutes into the game. But that play later got overshadowed by — what else? — Wiggins' athleticism. The spring-loaded freshman flew to the rim on a missed 3-pointer by Tharpe and slammed it home with a two-handed follow that grew the KU lead to 19-12 with more than 11 minutes left in the first half. In the second half, Embiid threw a cross-court skip pass to Wiggins on the left wing, and he took it all the way to the rim, cocking back a two-handed jam that cut Tech's lead to 49-48.

• Defensive highlight: The Jayhawks hadn't made many critical defensive stops until the final minute. That's when Wiggins blocked a Jaye Crockett jumper from the left wing. The ball went right back to Crockett, who forced up another shot, contested by Wiggins. The long rebound ended in a tie-up and KU had the possession arrow pointing its direction. All of that came with KU down, 61-60, in the final minute of the second half.

• Key stat: Thirty free-throw attempts. Kansas never would have been in this one had it not converted at the foul line. Tech played physical defense, and the Jayhawks made sure to be the aggressors on offense so they could earn some easy points at the charity stripe. KU hit 22 of its 30 tries (73 percent), with Wiggins and Embiid both going 6-for-8. Tech was just 9 of 14 at the foul line.

• Up next: Kansas, now with a two-game lead on Texas (9-4 in the Big 12), plays host to the Longhorns on Saturday at 6:30 p.m., at Allen Fieldhouse.

Box score

Comments

Bryce Landon 5 years, 9 months ago

Didn't deserve to win that one, but we did. But sooner or later, KU is going to have to buy in to Self's defensive philosophy, or we can plan on watching the NCAA Tournament from the sideline after the Round of 32.

Bryce Landon 5 years, 9 months ago

I'd also be willing to go out on a limb and make the case that KU won that one in the first half when it forced Tech into a turnover with 5 seconds before the half. The margin at the half was 1 point. The final margin was 1 point.

Ethan Berger 5 years, 9 months ago

First off Tech is very underrated,especially on their home court. They made some very tough shots and played with high energy. Tubby has them moving up. Now let's get to our hawks.

Wiggins needs to dunk more. Get stronger but start finishing on the rim. He makes shots harder for himself. Also working on the timing of his jump shot, make it like his free throw.

Our youth is still very obvious and maybe it should be. I'm noticing communication is lacking. On picks, our guys seemed startled and aren't expecting it. That comes better with age.

Also we are very inconsistent. That should be normal so it doesn't stress me out. But I see one guys mistake pile unto each other. The 0708 was very constient and played their roles well. When they were young, they struggled in the same way as our guys. All in all a tough win but still a win.

Ryan Michael 5 years, 9 months ago

Tharpe has to sit. I don't understand why he is held to a 100% different standard than anyone else on the team. His defense is quite possibly the worst in the entire B12 for a PG. His decision making, ball handling, and overall court awareness have gotten worse and worse. All of that, and he never comes off the court.

The last straw for me was tonight on MULTIPLE possessions defensively he's just standing around watching for the second game in a row. His man ends up scoring or one of our bigs ends up with a foul, or we lose a loose ball because Tharpe is standing around gawking. No excuses. He needs to ride pine for half the minutes he's currently getting.

Benz Junque 5 years, 9 months ago

The problem is that Mason has been even worse than Tharpe (if that's even possible). The two ridiculous unforced turnovers on Tharpe in the 2ns half made me seriously question if he was stoned out there or if he was trying to shave points. Mind bogglingly careless and stupid.

Ryan Michael 5 years, 9 months ago

I would agree that Mason has had some bad turnovers... But lets just for a second consider Frankamp getting 5-10 minutes of Tharpes time. Frankamp isn't a flashy ball handler... He's not explosively fast. However he DOES protect the ball. He doesn't turn it over.

Add to that the fact that Frankamp plays pretty damn good defense and fights through screens putting in actual effort. I'd take that in a heartbeat. I'm not saying pull ALL of Tharpes minutes, but I disagree with the fact that he doesn't get held to seemingly any standard when he doesn't even attempt to play defense.

Robert Brown 5 years, 9 months ago

I guess a win over UT on Saturday will pretty much clinch a 10th straight Big 12 title but I have an uneasy feeling about this team. They very easily could lose to UT or they could win by double digits. This may be one of Coach Self's most frustrating seasons and he could win the strongest conference in the country by 3-4 games.

This has the look of a team that gets upset in the second round by a veteran mid- major team. This should be a great tournament as there does not seem to be any clear cut favorite so match ups will matter.

I think this makes now 25 consecutive years of 20 win seasons (and 30 out of 31 seasons). The only season we missed, we won 19 games and could not go to post season. We should reflect on that accomplishment and how fortunate we are to be fans of a school with such a record do sustained success.

Benz Junque 5 years, 9 months ago

If Kansas can win 3 more games it will be 25 straight years with at least 23 wins, by far the longest stretch in the nation.

Tony Bandle 5 years, 9 months ago

BASKETBALL MATH:

[Youngest team in Top 25] x [#1 SOS] x [#1 RPI] / No Starters from 2013 = Gray Hairs for Coaches and fans.

KU NATION step back and look at the progress...the Hawks should have lost that game, but they didn't. These kinds of games have an immeasurable value in prepping for The Dance.

THE GOOD..Andrew turning up the heat ands slashing to the hoop.

THE BAD..Naadir's worst game as a point guard [yet we still won][.

THE UGLY...The worst reffing job I have ever seen. KU got away with murder while TT committed second degree assault and battery all night....mixed in with ticky tack fouls called by the bushel full...on both sides!!

Damn, Tubby is going to be a problem pretty darn soon!!

Ryan Michael 5 years, 9 months ago

Most definitely agree, Tubby is a great coach and Tech is lucky to have him. He'll have that team competing for years to come.

Benz Junque 5 years, 9 months ago

Years to come? How many more years will he be coaching. Smith looks OLD.

Cora Smith 5 years, 9 months ago

I think KU basketball is very hard to watch this year. No cohesiveness. No team play. NO DEFENSE. I can not see that we are progressing or going anywhere. If our point guard plays like tonite, we will be out by the round of sixteen.

Mark Lindrud 5 years, 9 months ago

I blame Self for losing momentum in the first half. Why did we need to half all bench people playing for a stretch and not starters? You have a 10 point lead and the momentum, which is when you kick it in gear and stand on the opponents throat. We have our rotation of Black, Traylor, Greene and Mason coming off the bench. There is no need to occasionally bring in AWIII and CF, not to mention have all 5 players playing being just guys from the bench. This isn't the Topeka YMCA where everyone plays and gets ice cream after the game. We know who should be playing regularly and let's keep those guys on the floor. When we have a 15-20 point lead late in the game then the other guys can get more playing time, but not in the flow of the game. I seriously was waiting for the water boy to come out for a few minutes and shoot up a 3 pointer. Let's develop our regular rotation and please leave at least 2-3 starters in at all times.

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