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Friday, December 5, 2014

Strong second half leads KU past Florida

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) heads to the bucket against Florida during the first on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Wayne Selden Jr. (1) heads to the bucket against Florida during the first on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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It was layup city for much of the night for the Florida basketball team, which overcame a slow start, built a huge lead and then went ice cold as the 11th-ranked Kansas University men's basketball team stormed its way to a 71-65 victory at rockin' and rollin' Allen Fieldhouse.

Led by 21 points from Wayne Selden, who broke out of his shooting slump in a big way (9-of-15 shooting), the Jayhawks outscored the Gators 47-26 in the second half and turned it over just five times in the final 20 minutes after coughing it up nine times in the first half, mostly on careless miscues.

Perry Ellis (10), Frank Mason (12) and Cliff Alexander (12, including 8-of-8 from the free throw line) also reached double figures in scoring for KU, which improved to 6-1 on the season. Florida fell to 3-4.

Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:

• The game turned when: After trailing by 18 early in the second half, KU ripped off a 33-7 run to jump back in front by eight. The run spanned a little more than 10 minutes and featured a whole lot of Wayne Selden.

• Offensive highlight: After a nice baseline drive to draw the defense, Devonte' Graham flipped a perfect pass to Cliff Alexander in the lane and the big fella did the rest. When he caught it, it looked as if Alexander wanted to elevate over the defender and punish the rim. His body had other ideas, though, so Cliff gathered himself, contorted his upper body around the defender and laid it in with a little finger roll. The bucket pulled KU within 8 with a little less than 11 minutes to play.

• Defensive highlight: It's hard to say how much contact there really was, but Wayne Selden made a heck of a smart play to sell it after Florida's Devin Robinson dove into his body to catch a pass and then bounced back to the three-point line. As Robinson gained separation, Selden flew backwards and the official ruled that Robinson pushed off and whistled him for an offensive foul. A bucket on the other end pulled KU to within five points, at 52-47, and brought the Allen Fieldhouse crowd to a fevered pitch.

• Key stat: There were so many things that contributed to KU's second-half comeback, but the Jayhawks controlled the glass (out-rebounding UF 35-27) and forced the Gators to shoot just 35 percent during the final 20 minutes. It also did not hurt that KU shot 84 percent from the free throw line.

• Up next: The Jayhawks continue their stretch of tough games, when they travel to Georgetown on Wednesday for a 6 p.m. tipoff with the Hoyas. The game will be shown on FOX Sports 1.

Comments

Walter Bridges 4 years, 11 months ago

Sweet! Now if we can only put two halves together.

Mike Riches 4 years, 11 months ago

Say what you will about the first half, but to come back from 18 down in the 2nd half to take a double digit lead and win the game takes a lot of resolve and an incredible effort! A win like that in December builds a lot of character and can have a positive impact later in the year. Way to go Jayhawks!

Suzi Marshall 4 years, 11 months ago

Great second half come back but tHat first half scared me.

Aaron Paisley 4 years, 11 months ago

I don't think KU can win a national title this year if they have go through Kentucky because that's just such a bad match up for KU. Duke also appears to have their best team in a long time this year and I don't know if KU is good enough to beat them. Beyond those two teams, I don't see anyone that is definitively better than KU. This team values defense and that will be this team's identity. This is a Final Four caliber team.

Rodney Crain 4 years, 11 months ago

Texas playing zone is going to be tough to beat unless our outside shooting improves. They are not head and shoulders above us like Duke and KY but we will have to play a lot better when conference play starts.

I reserve predicting how far they will go in the NCAA's until we are through conference play.

Michael Leiker 4 years, 11 months ago

Band playing "Rock You Like a Hurricane" after the under 8 in the second half was classic...hilarious

Tyler Capone 4 years, 11 months ago

lets not act like Kentucky is unbeatable. Maybe we can't beat them right now but who says we have to in the tournament? Just got to have faith that we keep getting better

Rodney Crain 4 years, 11 months ago

Really do not know who this team is. We do not seem as deep as I was hoping either. I think we went for every shot fake in the first half, Bobby Knight would have been proud.

This team cannot come out flat like that and expect to win. We were lucky FL ran out of gas, we finally settled down, but that first half was just terrible. Not TCU level, but close.

Jerry Walker 4 years, 11 months ago

I agree that we're not that deep right now. The rotation is starting to whittle itself down. Two guys who can make a big difference are Traylor and Oubre. Right now neither is much of a factor...and they should be.

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