Saturday, January 22, 2005

Wildcats outgun Jayhawks, 83-62

Three-pointers, turnovers doom KU in biggest loss under Self


For Kansas University's men's basketball team, Saturday's road matchup with Villanova was a perfect trap game.

It was a nonconference game in a town besieged by inclement weather that could keep the Jayhawks around for an extra day or two, just three days before heading to a Big 12 Conference road game in Texas. The Wildcats were playing well after nearly toppling unbeaten Boston College earlier in the week. And the Jayhawks still were struggling to get used to having everyone back from injury.

Sure enough, the Wildcats took the Jayhawks to school, trouncing the No. 2-ranked team in the nation, 83-62. The 21-point loss was KU's worst under coach Bill Self.

"They kicked us. That's the worst we've been kicked since we've been here," Self said.

"It was just an all-around poor performance by us. I coached bad. We played bad. We've been kind of living on the razor's edge for the last couple of games, and I hate that this happened, but a little humiliation may do us all good."

The Jayhawks (14-1 overall, 4-0 Big 12 Conference) played like they were trapped, turning the ball over 22 times resulting in 43 points for the Wildcats.

"They did not pressure us," Self said. "We panicked. We just threw the ball to them. Of course we're going through that phase right now. We've got some individuals really taking poor care of the basketball. We couldn't even catch the ball. We slipped on the floor ... because of the ice underneath it. It amazes me. Villanova didn't have any problems with it, so why did we?

Villanova did their part for the victory, as well, shooting 12-of-19 from long distance. The Wildcats hit 12 of their first 18 shots from long distance, with many of those coming in response to attempted comebacks by the Jayhawks.

J.R. Giddens started the game well for KU with a three-pointer on the game's opening possession. Villanova scored 11 of the next 15 points, though, taking an 11-7 lead.

Kansas tied the game at 11-all, but the Wildcats then scored the next seven points and twice extended their lead to as many as 11 points behind strong three-point shooting.

Kansas closed to within five points, 33-28, late in the period, but Villanova scored the next five points. The Jayhawks then scored the next six points, including a three-pointer by Giddens with about 30 seconds left to go that brought KU within four points, 38-34.

Villanova guard Mike Nardi answered with a three-pointer of his own just before the buzzer, giving the Wildcats a 41-34 halftime lead.

The Wildcats continued their strong play early in the second half, scoring 15 of the first 17 points after halftime and extending their lead to 20 points, 56-36, in the first six minutes.

"... when we had to have poise and come out the second half, we didn't," Self said. "We didn't show much poise at all today."

Michael Lee stopped the run with a three-pointer, but Villanova had another big run, this time a 14-1 spurt that extended the Wildcats' lead to 30 points, 72-42. Villanova led by as many as 37 points later in the half, 79-42, and coasted to the win with its starters in the game until just the final couple moments.

Giddens had 11 points for KU, Keith Langford scored eight points, and Wayne Simien added 15 points and eight rebounds.

Sasha Kaun scored 11 points, Jeff Hawkins had four points, and Christian Moody added two points. Aaron Miles had five points and five assists, Darnell Jackson scored three points, and Michael Lee had three points.

Curtis Sumpter had 25 points for Villanova, Allan Ray added 27 points, and Nardi had 11 points.

"They were a lot better than us today," Self said. "Their three best players were on a different level today."

Chris Charles scored two points, Will Sheridan added four points, and Randy Foye had seven points.

Kyle Lowry had seven points before being ejected for punching Hawkins in the stomach with 52.7 seconds left in the first half. The punch was ruled a fight, meaning Lowry also will be ineligible for Villanova's next game.

The Jayhawks were 24-of-55 shooting from the field, including 7-of-19 from long distance, and 7-of-12 from the charity stripe.

The Wildcats were 28-of-51 shooting from the field, including 12-of-19 from three-point range, and 15-of-16 from the foul line. Villanova turned the ball over 11 times.

All stats are unofficial.

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