The Kansas basketball team survived a scare from Harvard on Saturday, inside Allen Fieldhouse, gritting its teeth down the stretch for a scrappy 75-69 victory.
Kansas (6-1) got some big plays from some of its most experienced players and, once again, enjoyed an effective night from behind the three-point line.
When the Jayhawks got out and ran in the first half, things were good, as KU built a 16-point first-half lead (32-16) and looked like the team everyone saw in Maui and last week against Loyola.
But Harvard (2-6) refused to go away and after trailing by nine at halftime — 38-29 — tied the game at 56 with 7:30 to play.
Images from the Jayhawks' matchup against Harvard on Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse
Wayne Selden Jr. went out of the game with his fourth foul at the 13:14 mark of the second half and that really had a negative impact on KU's offense.
Frank Mason III led Kansas with 21 points and Perry Ellis (12) and Devonté Graham (12) also reached double figures for the Jayhawks.
Kansas basketball coach Bill Self speaks with the media about the Jayhawks' 75-69 victory over Harvard, a game which included the Crimson tying the game late in the second half and KU getting out-rebounded 39-31.
Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:
• The game turned when: Graham and Mason hit a couple of huge three-pointers inside the final five minutes with Harvard hanging right there and believing more and more every second that they could win this game.
• Offensive highlight: They won't make any SportsCenter Top 10's but the buckets Ellis picked up late in the second half when KU absolutely needed someone to step up and score were vintage Ellis. He was patient, he used his excellent footwork to get an advantage and he used the glass to finish the shots. Ellis scored five straight points for Kansas after Harvard tied the game at 56 with less than 8 minutes to play.
Kansas basketball players Frank Mason III, Devonté Graham and Landen Lucas speak with media members about the Jayhawks' tight 75-69 victory over Harvard, Saturday at Allen Fieldhouse.
• Defensive highlight: Early on during KU's victory, when both teams were struggling to get going offensively, KU's Mason missed a layup in transition and started to get back on defense. As the Harvard guard secured the rebound and started to bring the ball up, Mason jumped into his dribble, picked his pocket and laid it in. Later, in the second half, KU's Cheick Diallo rejected a driving layup by Harvard's Corey Johnson to help KU stay in front while the Crimson were making a serious run to get back into the game.
• Key stat: Bill Self likely would be the first to talk about this stat and that's because the smaller Harvard team had its way with Kansas on the glass, out-rebounding the Jayhawks 21-12 in the first half and 39-31 for the game.
• Up next: The Jayhawks will be back in Allen Fieldhouse on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tilt with Holy Cross. The game will be shown on Jayhawk TV and ESPN3. For those wondering, the Dec. 19 home game vs. Montana will be KU's final game on the Jayhawk Network this season.
— See what people were saying about the game during KUsports.com’s live coverage