Mired in a bit of a shooting slump, Kansas shooting guard Kirk Hinrich decided to take a few extra jumpers before Monday night's showdown against Texas at Allen Fieldhouse.
"I was still confident, but I still decided it'd be a good idea to come out early and shoot," said Hinrich, who hit 7-of-14 shots, including three of six three-pointers, good for 25 points in Kansas' 90-87 victory over Texas.
He missed eight of 10 threes in Saturday's 17-point home loss to Arizona, scoring 15 points. He missed 10 of 13 floor shots and scored 10 points Wednesday in a one-point loss at Colorado.
"I'm more relieved than anything right now," Hinrich said after KU snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 14-5 overall and 4-1 in the league. Texas is now 13-3, 4-1.
"We wanted this so bad," Hinrich said. "We didn't get the job done the second half against Arizona. I think tonight we came out a little hesitant (as Texas led 20-10), but we battled back. The difference between this game and Arizona is we were so mentally tough tonight."
Texas coach Rick Barnes was so impressed with the effort of KU seniors Hinrich and Nick Collison, he visited KU's locker room to talk to the duo after the game.
"He said he didn't know if we'd play in the Big 12 tournament and wanted to say he was impressed with our play," Hinrich said. "I told him he had a great team."
Of Collison, who scored 24 points and grabbed 23 boards, Hinrich said: "Nick was big. He grabbed every rebound and led us out there. He's a big-time player in a big-time game. He played so hard."¢
Storming the court: Hinrich wasn't thrilled that some KU students stormed the court after the victory. Several other students who were seated in the stands chanted, "Off the court," to the celebrants.
"I love they are excited about the way we played," Hinrich said, "and excited about basketball here, but we expected this. We expect to win."¢
Williams yells at fan: KU coach Roy Williams was miffed at a fan behind KU's bench who apparently yelled something negative to a KU player during the first half when the Jayhawks fell behind by 12.
"I had words with a guy behind our bench who was critical of one of our players. To criticize one of our guys, let me do that. Our guys heard the guy behind the bench. That's not right. If you can't cheer for Kansas in our building I don't want you there."¢
Stats facts: Hinrich's 11 free-throw attempts tied a career high. Collison's 20 field-goal attempts tied a career high. ... Aaron Miles' seven field goals, 14 field-goal attempts and six three-point attempts were career highs.