Fort Worth, Texas Kansas University snapped its three-game road losing streak with a little help from the Jayhawks’ own fans on Saturday at Schollmaier Arena, TCU’s home arena in name only.
About half of the announced crowd (6,516) in the 8,500-seat facility wore KU colors during a 75-56 victory that temporarily, at least, made the Jayhawks forget road setbacks at West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Iowa State.
“I was surprised to hear as many fans as we had here. It was nice. It kind of got us going a little bit,” said sophomore guard Devonté Graham, who responded with 15 points off 6-of-10 shooting (3-6 from three) with three assists and two steals in 27 minutes.
“It’s always a boost having fans there, cheering us on. It was great,” noted senior forward Perry Ellis, who had 23 points off 11-of-14 shooting with 10 rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 34 minutes.
View a gallery of images from the Jayhawks game against the Horned Frogs at Schollmaier Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Jayhawks, who were serenaded by the Rock Chalk chant in the closing minute, pleased the throng of Crimson and Blue-clad fans early, rolling to a 38-20 halftime lead, thanks in large part to a 25-10 margin on the boards.
“We didn’t play very tough,” KU coach Bill Self said of Wednesday’s victory over K-State. “TCU has always given us a hard time on the glass. I thought we rebounded the ball a lot more like men tonight than prior. We’ve been really good or not good at all in those areas. That was better. Our energy was better. Devonté was great, Perry (great). Jamari was the key to the game from an energy standpoint,” Self added of Jamari Traylor, who had seven boards and six points in 15 minutes.
Cheick Diallo and Carlton Bragg Jr. also chipped in with five boards apiece.
The Jayhawks hit 53.6 percent of their first-half shots to TCU’s 25-percent mark. TCU missed six of seven threes the initial half, while KU bricked eight of 12. For the game, KU hit six of 22; TCU just five of 18.
Self, whose squad improved to 2-3 on the road in league games and 3-3 overall this season in enemy gyms (counting San Diego State victory) looked as if he meant business on the sidelines early, sitting Wayne Selden Jr. after two minutes for taking and missing a deep three.
It turns out Self wasn’t miffed at Selden, after all.
Selden sat himself.
“Wayne was sick. He’s got the flu or whatever. We didn’t know if he could play. He asked to come out immediately, in 30 seconds. I’ve never had a player do that. He said, ‘Coach get me out,’’’ Self said of the junior guard, who scored three points off 1-of-5 shooting and had five assists in 22 minutes. “They’re pumping antibiotics in him right now,” Self added.
Self also pulled junior Brannen Greene about 30 seconds after he entered and committed a defensive miscue.
“Yes,” Self said, acknowledging the defensive mistake was the reason for the quick hook. “Then he said he was too tight and couldn’t go back in. That’s what he told one of the assistant coaches. We talk about how we are going to guard certain actions. Obviously he didn’t come close to guarding it right. He wasn’t the only one. I pulled Svi (Mykhailiuk) for doing the same thing, too.”
Mykhailiuk had three points off 1-of-5 shooting (1-3 from three) with one board in 24 minutes. KU (19-4, 7-3) used a 28-7 run to stretch a 10-7 lead to 38-14 and put away the Horned Frogs (10-13, 1-9) early. Ellis had nine points in the surge.
The Jayhawks will next meet West Virginia at 6 p.m., Tuesday, in Allen Fieldhouse.
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