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Saturday, January 9, 2016

No. 1 Jayhawks survive first Big 12 road game

Kansas guard Brannen Greene (14) reacts to being whistled for a foul on Texas Tech forward Justin Gray (5) during the first half, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016 at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas.

Kansas guard Brannen Greene (14) reacts to being whistled for a foul on Texas Tech forward Justin Gray (5) during the first half, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016 at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas.

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Playing for the first time since walking off the floor following a thrilling, triple-overtime victory over Oklahoma on Monday night at Allen Fieldhouse, the Kansas men's basketball team had enough in its tank to knock off Texas Tech, 69-59, Saturday night in Lubbock, Texas.

The loss dropped Texas Tech to 0-8 all-time against No. 1-ranked teams.

Nothing about Saturday's victory was easy for the Jayhawks. The Red Raiders (11-3 overall, 1-2 Big 12) came out with incredible energy, played hard in just about every way and threw punch after punch at the Jayhawks throughout the night.

But thanks to its superior balance, experience and depth, the Jayhawks got key contributions from a number of different places and survived the close call that surprised no one.

After falling behind by 10 (42-32) early in the second half, Tech unleashed a 12-2 run to pull even at 44 with 10 minutes to play.

But KU (14-1, 3-0) immediately jumped back in front with a bucket inside from Landen Lucas and triples from Frank Mason III and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, and the Jayhawks (14-1 overall, 3-0 Big 12) never looked back.

Kansas led just 29-27 at the break and neither team played particularly well in the first half. However, both teams definitely played hard, with all kinds of second-chance points and tough defensive possessions being the theme of the first 20 minutes.

KU junior Wayne Selden Jr., who leads the team in scoring, was held scoreless in the first half, missing all seven shots he took, including 0-for-5 from three-point range.

Brannen Greene (6 points, 4 rebounds, 2-of-3 three-point shooting) helped pick up the three-point shooting slack by draining both treys he attempted in the first half to help KU maintain a slight advantage.

Mason led Kansas to the hard-fought road win by finishing with 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Perry Ellis delivered another double-double, leading the Jayhawks with 15 points and 10 rebounds.

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

• The game turned when: KU came out of the locker room after halftime determined to gain some separation and did just that with five buckets right at the rim, two from Carlton Bragg, two from Selden and another from Ellis that pushed the KU lead to 39-31.

• Offensive highlight: It was not your typical highlight-reel play but with just over two minutes left and Tech having trimmed the Kansas lead to four, the Jayhawks ran the shot clock all the way down and operated with poise as the buzzer approached. First, Devonté Graham pushed the ball to Mason at the top of the key, who quickly and without thinking, shoved a pass to Selden in the corner. Selden, who benefited from a great screen from Lucas, drained the three and KU led by seven with less than two minutes to play. On the very next trip, KU broke Tech's press with ease and Lucas floated a soft lob to Perry Ellis, who slammed the exclamation point on the KU victory.

• Defensive highlight: Midway through the first half, during a rough stretch for KU senior Jamari Traylor, the veteran forward once again showed why he continues to log minutes. After throwing the ball away on an easy entry pass, Traylor raced back down the floor to erase a would-be layup by Texas Tech in transition by rising high above the rim and swatting the shot attempt off the glass and giving the Jayhawks a transition chance of their own.

• Key stat: Late three-point shooting. On a night when KU could not find its stroke for most of the game — especially from three-point range — Mason and Svi hit a few devastating triples down the stretch to help the Jayhawks survive the upset bid by the Red Raiders. KU shot 9-of-22 from three-point range (41 percent) but started just 5-of-17.

• Up next: The Jayhawks will remain on the road for their next game, a 6 p.m. clash at West Virginia on Tuesday night. West Virginia, which entered Saturday night ranked 17th, knocked off Oklahoma State, 77-60, to move to 3-0 in conference play, which means Tuesday's showdown will be for sole possession of first place four games into the Big 12 season. 

— See what people were saying about the game during KUsports.com’s live coverage


More news and notes from Kansas at Texas Tech


By the Numbers: Kansas 69, Texas Tech 59

By the Numbers: Kansas 69, Texas Tech 59

Comments

Jay Scott 3 years, 11 months ago

Good clutch play down the stretch. More minutes for Bragg in real battle with mixed results. Solid contributions from Svi and Greene. Not Devonte's best night but he was a crafty veteran at crunch time. A good road win against a scrappy and improving team.

Diallo didn't get 25 minutes...here come the cries of falling sky and demands that Self be fired on the flight home.

Al Martin 3 years, 11 months ago

Couldn't you at least wait for someone to say something before repeating your dreck?

Jay Scott 3 years, 11 months ago

Haven't you noticed that most of the nutty complainers have stopped? What he describes used to be the main theme.

Rodney Crain 3 years, 11 months ago

Winning does that Kerry, not Jays endless posts.

Rodney Crain 3 years, 11 months ago

Kerry Casch, who just signed up Friday Jan. 8th, you have Jay Scott as your profile nickname. How do you do that?

Shannon Gustafson 3 years, 11 months ago

I think we all know how he does it...if no one else will agree with him, he'll agree with himself! I do wonder what the policy is here regarding multiple accounts. Most places ban you if you have more than one account at the same time.

Rodney Crain 3 years, 11 months ago

I know Shannon just seeing if he would admit it. There is more than 1one of these "profiles" on here. :)

Rodney Crain 3 years, 11 months ago

Great win, shows real toughness and focus.

Love the play of Perry and Frank on a rough night. Now onto to WV.

Rodney Crain 3 years, 11 months ago

Only cause he just can't help himself

Predictions on Jay Scott on this or any article: He will comment on 33.8% of all posts. 22.5% of his posts will not even be about the original post, subject, or article. Probability he will use Chicken Little, a reference to the sky is falling or CL at least once within the thread 99.7% DING first one to post too…did not take long for that to happen. :) Argue with 3 or more posters, per article, using multiple repetitive posts without really disagreeing with what the original post was about.

He has had one positive inspired benefit, he has single handedly unified the board with his behavior. Unified against him unfortunately, but alas you got to give him credit, he has unified the board.

THIS INFORMATION SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR BETTING PURPOSES only supplied as a public service announcement.

Love the toughness tonight, gritty win.

Jay Scott 3 years, 11 months ago

Roddy. Don't you get that by making such a comment you just let me make a fool of you without even trying? You and your boys have a collective stroke and circle ...time. I'm going to bed. I'll laugh at the mess in the morning.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 11 months ago

Suggesting for removal. No class. Are you sure you aren't a K-Stater?

Shannon Gustafson 3 years, 11 months ago

See that, Kerry (aka Jay) wanted to reply but then he realized he was logged in with the wrong account...

Rodney Crain 3 years, 11 months ago

Actually I think I am just recapping your behavior Jay. Since you did not disagree that this is what you do I can see why you might be disappointed in yourself. You are not alone.

You really can't help yourself, even after a win.

Jack Hoff 3 years, 11 months ago

Nice road win. In hindsight not much to really complain about. Played a tough focused team on the road and got a 10 point victory. Mindset has to completely shift to WVU. Plenty of coachable moments from this game, but shows they can grind out a game when offense isn't clicking on all cylinders. Mason was phenomenal! Selden played like a vet when his shot was falling and finished the game for us! Perry was Perry. Also good to see Svi and Brannen play well and see Bragg get some extra minutes. Perfect game to grow from.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 11 months ago

It was good to see Svi getting some quality minutes in semi-crunch-time and some situational sub-time.

Offensive highlight: that whip-around to Selden was incredible! Great lob by Landen, too.

Bill did not look happy after the game.

Road W > than Road L.

John Randall 3 years, 11 months ago

Lots of talk about "trap" games, Wily veteran Tubby on home bench, multiple cases of "how near empty" KU player's might be. As expected, TS of TT focused on taking away what KU was trying to do –– but HCBS turned loose enough of our weapons TT couldn't shut them all off - (how many Jayhawks scored in this game, anyway?) Some of them must had some high octane left.

ROCK CHALK! Time to put the hammer down in Morgantown.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 11 months ago

Low 30's in minutes for the starters, which should help them to be fresh for the press. Really looking forward to that game!

Robert Brock 3 years, 11 months ago

The Hawks looked stiff and a little dysfunctional in the first half. Self managed to get the guys playing pretty smooth basketball in the second half against a tough, determined, and well-coached team on the road. Good win.

Michael Lorraine 3 years, 11 months ago

After 37 minutes of play this game was up for grabs but KU outplayed Tech in crunch time when it mattered most. I concur, good win.

Joe Ross 3 years, 11 months ago

I might not feel as badly about it as most people. I think we are beginning to recognize that Texas Tech is not the Red Raiders of yesteryear, that everyone is going to give Kansas their best shot, and that home court advantage in the conference does mean something. In addition, coming off a win like the Oklahoma game has to present a little bit of a letdown. OU themselves may have avoided that a little bit by playing at home against Kansas State (this just in: Buddy Hield goes completely nuts against all teams with "Kansas" as a part of their name. Wait a minute...scratch that. Hield goes off on everybody).

I think Im in the camp that says a win in the conference on the road is something to just accept graciously, or at the very least not complain about over a 60- to 65-decibel level. Besides, learning to win the grind-it-out games is just as important as winning when you're firing on all cylinders.

I'll take the "W" and focus ahead.

Jay Scott 3 years, 11 months ago

They were a 7 point Road favorite and won by 10. What's to feel bad about?

Rodney Crain 3 years, 11 months ago

Tech thinks they lost that game, they were not beat. Missed FTs, poor rebounding, and a few other things.

Gritty win and we will take it, but still a lot to improve upon.

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