By Matt Tait ---- email@example.com
The Kansas University men's basketball team took a heck of a punch from visiting Texas on Saturday afternoon. And then decided to throw one back.
Trailing from the opening tip well into the second half, Kansas did not take its first lead until the 12:30 mark of the second half. But once it did, KU never looked back, building a lead as large as 13 points before knocking off Texas, 76-67.
KU shot just 38 percent from the floor in the first half, including 4 of 13 from three-point land. That changed drastically in the second half, however, where KU shot 43 percent and knocked in 6 of 12 from three-point range.
KU's big push — a 24-6 run that turned a 40-33 deficit into a 57-46 lead — featured four three-pointers, two from Wayne Selden Jr. and two from Devonté Graham, almost in the exact same spot in front of the KU bench.
Perry Ellis led Kansas with 26 while Selden (19) and Graham (14) also contributed big days to the KU scoring effort. Landen Lucas, who started at the 5, led all players with 10 rebounds.
The victory improved KU to 16-3 overall and 5-2 in Big 12 play. Texas, meanwhile, fell to 12-7 and 4-3.
Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:
• The game turned when: KU surged ahead with a 14-2 run midway through the second half. The Jayhawks had trailed the entire game, at one point by as many as 12 points, and found themselves down 40-33 early in the second half before ripping off the 12-point run sparked by six points from Ellis and a pair of threes from Selden and Graham.
• Offensive highlight: With the shot clock winding down and KU struggling to get anything going offensively, Frank Mason III caught a pass on the left wing, immediately attacked the paint and looked to make a play. As he got close to the rim, UT's Prince Ibeh swallowed him up, but Mason dropped a perfect pass to Ellis, who had a clear path to the rim for the monster jam.
• Defensive highlight: There were no monster blocks (those belonged to UT big man Ibeh) or big-time steals, but KU's defensive intensity during that decisive run forced several missed shots from the Longhorns, many of them coming right at the rim. Maybe next time those shots go in and this is a different story, but they didn't on Saturday and KU's defense gets the credit for at least some of that.
• Key stat: Second-chance points. KU outscored Texas 19-5 on second-chance points and ripped down 13 offensive rebounds compared to 4 for Texas. Lucas grabbed six of those.
• Up next: The Jayhawks will head out on the road Monday night for a Big Monday showdown with Iowa State at Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa. The 8 p.m. tip off on ESPN will mark the first meeting this season between these two preseason Big 12 title favorites.
— See what people were saying about KU vs. Texas during KUsports.com’s live blog.