Saturday, December 18, 2004

KU withstands scare from South Carolina

Simien, Robinson lead Jayhawks to 64-60 win


Kansas University senior Wayne Simien played the final few minutes of Saturday's game against South Carolina with four fouls and his left wrist wrapped after appearing to injure his thumb midway through the second half.

Neither issue mattered to the Jayhawk star, though, as he led his team to a 64-60 victory over the Gamecocks with two second-chance baskets in the final three minutes. Simien finished with 20 points and 11 rebounds in 35 minutes.

Freshman guard Russell Robinson also played a big part in KU's victory, scoring the Jayhawks' final four points - a driving layup for a 61-58 lead with 30 seconds left and a pair of free throws with 13 seconds on the clock.

South Carolina's Carlos Powell opened the game with a basket less than 10 seconds in, giving the Gamecocks a two-point lead as they ran out to an 11-0 lead before Wayne Simien scored four minutes in.

The Jayhawks closed to within a point, 21-20, on a basket by Keith Langford, but the Gamecocks scored six of the next seven points to regain momentum. South Carolina led by eight points at halftime, 33-25, after a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Tarence Kinsey.

The Gamecocks continued to hold the lead late into the second half. The Jayhawks again closed to within a point, 45-44, on a free throw by Robinson, but South Carolina scored seven of the next nine points.

Kansas then went on an 8-0 run and took a 54-52 lead - its first of the game - with just more than five minutes left on a basket by Christian Moody.

South Carolina retook the lead for a couple minutes, but Simien gave KU a 57-55 lead with less than three minutes remaining with a putback - a rebound that gave him his sixth double-double of the season.

The Gamecocks took a 58-57 lead a moment later on an old-fashioned three-point play by Antoine Tisby after he grabbed an offensive rebound. Simien again put the Jayhawks ahead on their next possession with another putback, and Robinson held off the Gamecocks in the closing minutes.

J.R. Giddens had 13 points and five rebounds for KU, and Keith Langford added 11 points and five rebounds. Aaron Miles scored five points, dished out eight assists and grabbed four boards.

Michael Lee scored three points, and Darnell Jackson grabbed five rebounds. C.J. Giles had two rebounds and three blocks, and Robinson finished with seven points.

Moody had four points before fouling out with just more than four minutes left.

Powell had 13 points and nine boards for the Gamecocks, Brandon Wallace finished with five points, four rebounds and three assists, and Josh Gonner added 12 points, four assists and three steals.

Tre' Kelly scored eight points, Kinsey added 11 points and four steals, and Antoine Tisby had seven points and nine rebounds. Renaldo Balkman added four points and five boards.

Kansas was 20-of-48 shooting from the field, including 4-of-18 from three-point range, and 20-of-29 from the charity stripe. The Jayhawks turned the ball over 20 times.

South Carolina was 21-of-54 shooting from the field, including 6-of-18 from long distance, and 12-of-18 shooting from the foul line. The Gamecocks turned the ball over 16 times.

Rebounds: South Carolina 18, Kansas 18
Turnovers: South Carolina 11, Kansas 16
Steals: South Carolina 8, Kansas 4
Assists: South Carolina 8, Kansas 7

All stats are unofficial.

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