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Kansas defeats Texas Tech, 64-63

  • 7 p.m., Feb. 18, 2014
  • United Spirit Arena, Lubbock, TX

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

New territory: Andrew Wiggins’ first game-winner lifts Jayhawks

Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins flashes a wide smile after getting a bucket with seconds left to life the Jayhawks over Texas Tech 64-63 on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas. At right is Kansas forward Perry Ellis.

Kansas guard Andrew Wiggins flashes a wide smile after getting a bucket with seconds left to life the Jayhawks over Texas Tech 64-63 on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014 at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas. At right is Kansas forward Perry Ellis.

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Podcast episode

Press Conferences & Post-Game Interviews

Bill Self praises Embiid, Wiggins after 64-63 victory at Texas Tech

Bill Self praises Embiid, Wiggins after 64-63 victory at Texas Tech

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KANSAS 64, TEXAS TECH 63

Box score

— Kansas University freshman phenom Andrew Wiggins — who has already accomplished superhuman feats in basketball, evidenced by all of his driving and dunking highlights shown on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” this year and last — added a first to his hoops résumé on Tuesday.

“It’s my first game-winner ever. It’s a great feeling, something I’ve dreamed about for a long time,” said the soon-to-turn-19-year-old Wiggins, who sank a one-footer with 1.7 seconds left, providing the margin of victory in KU’s 64-63 victory over Texas Tech before 12,667 fans in United Spirit Arena.

“I made some to tie,” Wiggins added, asked if he really, truly had never before Tuesday provided the winning points just before the buzzer.

The 6-foot-8 wing from Canada picked up a loose ball in the lane on KU’s final possession — after the ball was poked from KU center Joel Embiid. Seven-footer Embiid, who had 18 points and eight boards, had hit the baseline after accepting a pass from Perry Ellis.

“My heart was just racing. We get the ball to Jo Jo (on final possession after Tech made two free throws to take a one-point lead), one of our best scorers, and he delivered a great pass, and I delivered a great shot as the game ended,” Wiggins said.

A consummate team player, Wiggins tried to describe the ball appearing at his feet a pin-point Embiid pass.

“Give the ball to Jo, let him go to work. He found me,” Wiggins stated in explaining KU’s final play, which followed a timeout at 12.0 seconds.

Embiid, who hit six of seven shots on a day he played 32 minutes, was willing to play along.

“I was trying to spin baseline, and I think he kind of slapped me,” Embiid said of Tech defender Dejan Kravic. “I lost the ball. I think it was a pass, and he (Wiggins) got it and scored, and that was the play of the game.”

Wiggins, who finished with 19 points off 6-of-11 shooting (6-of-8 from line), said he first thought about dunking the ball from such close quarters to the goal.

“It was slippery, like it slipped on the way up. I just had to guide it in,” Wiggins said of the layup.

The ball actually kissed off the rim before dropping through to give KU its 20th win against six losses and 11th league win in 13 tries. Tech fell to 13-13, 5-8.

“It bounced high. I was worried about it, but it went in,” Wiggins said.

Self wasn’t sweating the fact Wiggins’ shot initially hit iron.

“It would have been hard to miss that one even though it hit the back of the rim. I thought it was still pretty soft,” said Self, whose team is storming toward a 10th consecutive Big 12 title. KU leads Texas by two games entering Saturday’s 6:30 p.m. game against the Longhorns in Allen Fieldhouse.

“It was a six-inch shot wasn’t it, or a one-footer?” Self added.

About the possibility of Wiggins dunking there, Self wasn’t about to second-guess: “To me, he was up high enough. Whatever he did, he made the right play,” Self said. “He went up strong tonight and tried to dunk several.”

The Jayhawk players mobbed Wiggins on the court once a desperation heave by Texas Tech sailed past the backboard.

“It was a good feeling for what I did, the good play we did. It was good,” said Wiggins, whose 19th birthday is Sunday.

Self cited one other specific shot, besides Wiggins’ that fell in crunch time. Wayne Selden hit a crucial three with 2:34 left to slice a 59-55 deficit to one point. At that point, Selden had made one of seven shots and one of three from three. KU for the game hit just four of 14 treys.

“It was the biggest shot of the game other than Wiggs’ tip-in,” Self said. “He’s 1-for-7, and we’ve got nothing going, screw around and allow them to go up by four. The game wouldn’t be over, but we’d be close to dead if Wayne didn’t step up and make that three.”

For the night, KU hit 45.2 percent of its shots to Tech’s 47.1. It was a workmanlike effort in finally subduing Tech, which led by five, 37-32, with 16:58 left.

“We didn’t make shots this game. When you don’t, you have to find another way to win,” Wiggins said. “Defense, hustle plays, rebounding. Good players make good plays down the stretch. That’s what we did.”

Self agreed.

“Players make plays with the game on the line. That’s what I’ve always told my guys,” Self said. “Tonight we had some guys step up and make plays. Unbelievable in a game in which we couldn’t score, they couldn’t stop us late, and we couldn’t stop them. Whoever had the ball last was probably going to win the game. That was a good road win.”

Comments

DaNeille Davis 2 months ago

This team drives me CRAZY with their inconsistency! I'd like to bet on them but you never know which players are going to show up to play and if we'll make the spread or not. This team is never guaranteed a win no matter who they are playing. If they don't come out with some fire or energy or play defense, we are most certainly doomed. And I've never seen so many guys lose their confidence as much as these guys do when they miss a few shots! Time for them to grow up. March is around the corner!

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Aaron Millsap 2 months ago

The scouting report for Big IXI opposition against KU has been refined to a level where this team may never evolve into an average defensive squad by Self's historical standards. It has to be obvious to any coach not named Ford or Drew that the way to attack Kansas' man-to-man is to attack with 1) Naadir Tharpe's man, and 1a) Wayne Selden's man. Their on-ball defense is some of the worst I have seen from a starter at KU. I'd venture to say that they're two of the worst on-ball defenders in the conference. Obviously, Wayne is new to the system and has had a lot less time to adjust to playing Division 1 defense, so he has an applicable excuse. Tharpe has no excuse, other than those T-Rex arms he was born with. When they're both in the game at the same time, Wiggins' brilliant on-ball defense and Embiid's rim protection just aren't enough to save us. It's not a popular opinion, but I think Frankamp is the answer. When he's in the game, he's composed beyond his years to the point where he rarely turns the ball over. He gets the offense organized and into its half court set quickly. He also moves the ball without wasted motion, which results in effective ball reversals. But most importantly, his range out to 25 feet is most certainly on the scouting report and totally opens up the court for our playmakers. You can tell teams respect his range by the fact that he's rarely open, even when the double-team is scrambling off of Joel. If this team is going to win beyond the Sweet 16, Tharpe isn't the answer. He'll be completely manhandled by elite point guards or point guards with above average size. Frank Mason is a nice freshman and should be a really nice upperclassman, but he's prone to mental lapses at this point and he doesn't have the stroke to open up the floor for our volume scorers. I think we have the same conundrum at the point guard spot next year. I'm going with Jimmer Jr. and upside on this one.

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Garrett Coleman 2 months ago

I'm glad I'm not the only one who thoguht Tharpe palyed terribly. I don't post a lot but I do love to read everyone's comments and enjoy the insigh on this board esepcially Oaks Oddities. I don't know if Tharpe needs to be benched again for a wake up call but that was terrible ball alst night. In tennis those two turnoverse he had would be known as unforced errors. Just straight boneheaded plays. Wayne is a skilled enough passed the we could play him at the 1 for a little bit and put B Green in with the starters so we have a gun and let Tharpe stew on the bench for a little bit. Let him thinka bout how his playing affects the whole team and very nearly cost us that game.

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Joe Baker 2 months ago

TT down and UT to go. UT is coming off a bad road loss to ISU in Ames. Let's get that loss back in Austin and return the favor to horns by giving them another "L."

This Saturday's game will be huge for both KU and UT. I think it will pretty much determine the B12 champion.

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Jonathan Allison 2 months ago

I'm surprised that that was Wiggins' first ever game-winner. I guess that his teams have probably been playing with the lead for most of his life.

I know that I had at least 2 game winners in my life. The first would have been in 2nd or 3rd grade, a tie-breaking layup with time winding down. The most memorable though was my senior year in. Our team was down big at the half and switched to a box&1 defense and we crept back into it, eventually tying the game going into the final moments. I had the ball at the end around the top of the key and drove right, crossed the lane for a falling away jumper from probably 6 or 8 feet and it went it. I had 18 in the game. It was the final of a 4 team round robin in December and we swept the tourney. It was a great feeling, indeed. In if my memory serves, that was a Saturday game and I drove myself to the game after I took the ACT exam. I was scoreless the night before.

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Tony Bandle 2 months ago

Having watched this team for 28 games including exhibition I have come to the conclusion that their distance into the NCAA's will be directly proportional to the match-ups of their opponents.

If we get run and gun, offensive teams with modest "paint presence", we will succeed. If we get physically athletic teams with strong centers, the party's over and the fat lady will be in her car leaving the parking garage.

TEAMS TO AVOID UNTIL WE HAVE NO CHOICE: Syracuse, Florida, Michigan State, Cincinnati.

TEAMS THAT ARE REALLY GOOD BUT WE CAN TAKE THEM: Duke, Wichita State, Creighton, Wisconsin.

TEAMS THAT WE OWE A BEATING: Villanova, San Diego State, Colorado, Texas, KSU.

GOOD TEAMS THAT WE CAN TAKE FAIRLY EASILY: [All right,, this is a trick question]

GOOD TEAMS THAT WE CAN TAKE: St.Louis University, Kentucky, Arizona, North Carolina..

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Robert Brown 2 months ago

So was the last play designed for Wiggins or did Embiid fumble the ball and Wiggins pick it up?

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Tyson Ailshie 2 months ago

I'll have to admit, I was upset about last night's game there towards the end. So many things irritated me. Giving up as many as 3 offensive rebounds to TT on multiple possessions. Tharpe dribbling off his foot, throwing errant passes and not playing any semblance of defense. Perry fouling his way out of the game. But then there was Embiid and Wiggins. My goodness! Especially Wigs. I thought his performance was absolutely stellar! Granted, we wouldn't have had a chance without Selden's 3 pointer. But I thought Wiggins brought it! It was so great to see him drive to the hoop with aggressiveness. I thought that he was imposing his will on offense, especially late. Now, I expect him to do that every game now, therein the offense should revolve around having him in an ISO against his man. I want to see him just take control of this team now. He has the ability and he can be a consistent leader by example for this bunch. I thought this was his best all around game since the Duke game. If he plays like this in March, we will be tough to beat. Now, HCBS needs to drill this team with defense the rest of the way. We could be really great in March!

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Robert Brock 2 months ago

Ellis loves to do his spin-move...right into the waiting defender! That stuff wasn't working against Tech. It is unlikely to work against UT either.

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Tony Bandle 2 months ago

OAKVILLE ODDITIES:

1] Everybody clip and paste the lead photo above which shows BOTH Andrew AND Perry actually smiling!!

2] I thought the refs were equally incompetent for both sides. We got away with murder and they got away with manslaughter...Jo Jo hit the deck at least four times...NO CALL!! We fouled on three possession balls...NO CALL!!

3] Every play should start with Wiggins driving to the hoop and let the play develop from there..dunk, dish, alley-oop, kick back, I don't care...you can just see the fear in the defense eyes when AW gets moving.

4] I guess Brannen didn't get the memo outlining that you bust ass the first game back from suspension.

5] I hope my eyes didn't deceive me but I think I had a rare AWIII sighting, albeit ever so brief.

6] Does Cliff Alexander's girl friend have a sister? Wouldn't it be nice to get a 6'-4" point guard who can play defense..aka, JaQuan Lyle?

7] The grade for the starting five from that game would be a C....Andrew and Jo Jo - A, Wayne - C, Naadir and Perry - F,

8] As I stated last night...Tubby is gonna be a pain in our asses...soon!!!

9] I know the TT mascot is The Red Raider but he sure looks like ZORRO to me!!

10] The play of the game may have been that Tech three pointer that got jambed in the hoop and became a turnover. The way they were hustling, that would have been a long rebound and a put back basket for TT.

11] I have never seen so many made baskets at the shot clock buzzer in one game by one team in my life...God help us if Tubby gets some real talent!

12] Win Saturday, at worst, split the final four games thus ending 14 - 4, thus making Bill's prediction come true. [Frankly, I don't think we lose another game in conference and we go 16-2 in the strongest Conference in America!!!}.

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Tommy Kueser 2 months ago

This was one of those games we would have dropped earlier in the season. The guys are growing up it seems and just in time. March is just around the corner. Tough road win on an off shooting night. Let's hope this is the momentum this train needs heading into the tournament. Good to see us win when not clicking on all cylinders. Enjoy the win Wigs, wish we could keep you around for another year.

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Jim Stauffer 2 months ago

While I agree TTU hustled to many loose balls and offensive rebounds, there are games and this seemed to be one where the ball bounces a certain way and players have no chance to respond. That happened on many offensive rebounds that kicked out longer than expected. It also happened to them at the end when the ball bounced to Wigs instead of them.

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Jonathan Allison 2 months ago

I'm happy for the win for sure, but what I really saw from my couch last night was a TTU team that thoroughly out-hustled us, especially on their offensive glass, and a TTU team that brought post-season energy playing with wreckless abandon. They got a lot of breaks for certain, but part of getting the breaks is a credit to their energy. It looked a lot like the K-State game, except that K-State was able to score at will against us late, and Tech just kept making tough shot after tough shot at the end of the clock or off of the offensive rebound.

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Jonathan Allison 2 months ago

It's great see see Wiggins show us some emotion. And I haven't listened to his post-game interview, but it sounds like he was a little bit giddy about the game winner, which is cool to me because I think that he needs to start having more fun and playing more comfortably.

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Jonathan Allison 2 months ago

I don't understand why Ellis relies on driving a spinning to get his offense kick started. He seems to almost never take a jump shot unless he's already feeling it. I would think that he could score some points on an uncontested 15 to 17 footer and get it rolling after that.

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Steve Zimmerman 2 months ago

I normally don't complain about Tharpe, but boy, was he off tonight or what. So many chances to lob pass (pretty much in each game), he chose to bounce pass or torpedo pass to a 7ft. Jeeez.. somebody needs to spank his head. As a PG, leader of the pack, I think he needs to facilitate, always in eye-to-eye contact with the rest of the team on the floor. Awful, just awful performance. 2:4 says it all. Wake up, Tharpe, oh, and Ellis - get it together, guys. The rest of the team busted their balls off.

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Rodney Crain 2 months ago

Great win, Selden's 3, Wiggins and JoJo holding us together. Glad to see we are pulling it together to grind one out. Mercy was our PG play sad. TO at the wrong time, just could not hit a shot, could not make a pass. Scary. Love the studs we have though, fun to watch Wiggins turn it on and just explode, no one has an answer to him when he is on. Two big games at home. Win these and we are up 3 with 3 to play. Done and Done.

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Joe Baker 2 months ago

People are too down on the overall play. However, I just listened to Self's post-game and you have to look at the highlights. We got a few precious breaks. It was TT's night. KU hung strong and made a few key plays. We didn't play our best game and three starters pretty much played lousy at best. Let's look ahead now. We have a three game lead with our win tonight and UT's loss, which I expected. We have to beat UT (4), OU (5) and then TT (6). We can enjoy the OSU game in Stillwater a bit more and won't have to dread a WVU game. If the guys fail to show against these two teams, we'll still have a 4 game lead. UT has to come to our house, OU, and then to TT. They have BU and TCU at home. I'll give them 2 wins. They will likely beat TCU, unless TCU has a game like last year against KU, but unlikely in 'Austin. BU will be tough, but UT will play tough in Austin. But I see UT losing in the Phog, very likely in Norman, and if TT plays hangry, they could beat UT in Lubbock. I could see UT winning 2-3 and dropping KU and OU. They could lose to BU and TT. KU should end with a nice 2-4 game lead to win the B12. KU will need to pick-up their intensity and play balls to the wall.

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Doug Merrill 2 months ago

It was a GREAT road win. To pull that off on a night that the shots weren't falling and after losing a 10 point lead was evidence of great focus by the team. It is getting harder to call them "young" anymore. Beat Texas!

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