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Saturday, January 1, 2005

Langford leads KU over Georgia Tech

Senior's strong late play leads to 70-68 win

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Kansas University's men's basketball team was knocked out of last year's NCAA Tournament by a 79-71 overtime loss to Georgia Tech.

Thanks to senior Keith Langford, this year's rematch looked similar but had a better result for a Jayhawks, a 70-68 overtime victory Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.

Langford scored 18 points on 8-of-19 shooting, including a pair of three-pointers that brought KU close and tied the game late. He also had a big steal in overtime that led to KU's first lead of the game.

The Yellow Jackets led Saturday's game 10-2 early and extended their lead to 19-6 before B.J. Elder left with an injury.

Georgia Tech upped its lead to as many as 16 points, 27-11, but Kansas finished on a 16-7 run, closing the gap to 34-27 at intermission.

KU kept clawing closer early in the second half, and Langford brought the Jayhawks within a point, 48-47, for the first time with a driving basket with less than nine minutes left.

The senior guard tied the game at 61-all seven minutes later with a pair of three-pointers sandwiched around a jumper by Jarrett Jack. Neither team scored in the final minute and a half, sending the game to the extra period.

Georgia Tech took a 65-61 lead in overtime, but Kansas came back and took its first lead of the game, 66-65, after a three-pointer by Alex Galindo and a basket by J.R. Giddens on a fast-break started by a Langford steal.










The Yellow Jackets took a 67-66 lead on a basket by Anthony Murrow, but Langford regained the lead for KU with another basket. After Isma'il Muhammad tied the game by hitting one of two free throws, Langford gave KU a 70-68 lead with just more than three seconds left.

After each team called a timeout for final preparations, Jack - who scored a game-high 29 points in last year's game - traveled after receiving the inbounds pass, giving KU the ball back.

Galindo missed a pair of free throws after being fouled on the inbounds, but Georgia Tech's desperation heave at the buzzer was short, giving KU the victory.

Christian Moody had eight points, 10 rebounds and three fouls for KU, Russell Robinson had four points and three assists, and C.J. Giles - who started in the place of injured senior Wayne Simien - had two points, three rebounds and two blocks before fouling out with a bit more than eight minutes left in the game.

Aaron Miles had 14 points, five boards and eight assists - breaking Jacque Vaughn's record career assists at KU.

Sasha Kaun had two points, and Langford had 18 points - all but two in the second half - and six boards. Giddens had 16 points, and Galindo had six points and seven rebounds.

Anthony McHenry had five points, seven rebounds and three blocks for the Yellow Jackets before fouling out, Will Bynum had seven points, and Elder had three points.

Jack had 26 points and five rebounds, Luke Schenscher had 10 points, six rebounds and three blocks, and Muhammad had eight points and seven boards. Morrow had seven points, and Theodis Tarver had two points.

Kansas was 27-of-69 shooting from the field, including 12-of-26 from three-point range, and 4-of-10 shooting from the charity stripe. The Jayhawks turned the ball over 17 times.

Georgia Tech was 23-of-57 shooting from the field, including 6-of-12 from long distance, and 16-of-23 shooting from the foul line. The Yellow Jackets turned the ball over 16 times.

Kansas outrebounded Georgia Tech, 43-40.

Notes:

  • Simien warmed up with the team before the game, but is not playing as expected.
  • The game, originally to be aired on ESPN, was being shown on ESPN2 because the Outback Bowl is running long. The KU game was be moved back to ESPN after the bowl game was over.
  • Former KU great Darnell Valentine had his jersey retired at halftime.
  • The game was KU's 100th overtime contest.

IMPORTANT FIRST-HALF STATS:
Rebounds: Georgia Tech 21, Kansas 19
Turnovers: Georgia Tech 10, Kansas 7
Steals: Georgia Tech 3, Kansas 1
Assists: Georgia Tech 6, Kansas 6

All stats are unofficial.

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