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Kansas defeats Texas Tech, 69-59

  • 8 p.m., Jan. 9, 2016
  • United Supermarkets Arena, Lubbock, TX

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The thrill is gone: KU proves it can win ugly, too

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) is fouled on his way up to the bucket by Texas Tech center Norense Odiase (32) during the first half, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016 at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas.

Kansas guard Frank Mason III (0) is fouled on his way up to the bucket by Texas Tech center Norense Odiase (32) during the first half, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016 at United Spirit Arena in Lubbock, Texas.

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— Nobody will ever deem Saturday’s 69-59 Kansas University victory over Texas Tech one for the ages, or one to even remember for more than 24 hours or so.

Most would probably agree a game in which the No. 1-ranked Jayhawks (14-1, 3-0) led the (11-3, 1-2) Red Raiders, 29-27, at halftime, had little in common with Monday’s epic 109-106, three-OT victory over Oklahoma.

Still— as the cliche goes — a win is a win, and Saturday’s victory in United Supermarkets Arena, which kept the Jayhawks deadlocked with West Virginia in the league race heading into Tuesday’s 6 p.m. (Central time) battle in Morgantown, might ultimately be just as significant as the home victory vs. OU.

“I think they go hand in hand together. We lose this game tonight, then the OU game doesn’t mean anything,” KU junior guard Wayne Selden Jr. said after struggling to nine points off 4-of-13 shooting. He was 0-for-7 and failed to score the first half.

“We knew if we lost here today it would discredit the Oklahoma win,” Selden added. “We really worked hard for the win. When it came down to it, we wanted to win the game. We got stops and made buckets.”

Selden, who missed his first six threes, connected on a mighty big one on his seventh try.

His three from the corner with 2:22 left and KU up, 58-54, came as the shot clock was about to expire. His only trey of the night — which came as Tech went into a zone defense for the first time all game — gave the Jayhawks a reasonably comfy seven-point lead in crunch time.

“I wasn’t surprised at the defense,” Selden said. “They’ve got a great coach (Tubby Smith), being able to switch the defense like that. At first it caught us off guard. Lando (Landen Lucas, five points, two boards, 16 minutes) set a perfect screen. It’s paying attention in practice, knowing the stuff we do.”

Needless to say, KU coach Bill Self was pleased KU converted on the first try against zone.

Though Tech didn’t quit after the shot — the Raiders were down 63-57 when Devonté Graham scored with 1:01 left and down again by six, 65-59, when Graham hit two free throws at :38.4 — it was a huge score.

“It’s one of the things they’d not thrown one (zone) at us. We came down and realized they were in it and there was 20 (seconds) left (on shot clock). We didn’t do anything to attack it,” Self said. “We ran last-second zone play (with) execution perfect. Wayne hadn’t made a shot the whole game. Landen set a good screen, perfect execution. Svi (Mykhailiuk, seven points, 14 minutes) and Frank (Mason III, 17 points, 10 boards, five assists on night Graham had just four points off 1-6 shooting) ... they made timely shots even though we didn’t shoot the ball real well.”

Mason hit a three to stretch a 46-44 lead to five points with 8:51 left. Mykhailiuk iced a three to up that lead to 52-44 at 7:41.

KU finished at 41.8 percent shooting (29 percent the first half) to Tech’s 41.1 mark. KU hit 9 of 22 threes; Tech four of 16.

“I expected it to be a close game,” said Self, whose squad had its biggest lead of 10 with 16:21 left. “I thought both teams played better the first half than what the stats showed. We missed a lot of open looks. They missed a lot of free throws (7 of 14 first half going 9 of 19 for game). It shoulda have been a two-point game, but 37-35 or 41-39, something like that. The second half had a little more rhythm. We said all along it would come down to the last few possessions and it certainly did.”

He was insistent about the first-half play seeming uglier than it actually was.

“Wayne’s shot is so good this year he goes 1-for-7. Frank has not shot well of late. Svi’s not shot it great of late. It was good to see them step up and hit shots. I bet the first half we missed a lob dunk, Devonté an uncontested layup in transition, Perry (Ellis, 15 points, 10 boards) a layup he didn’t see (Zach) Smith behind and he blocked his shot. We missed others from two to three feet that would have made us look better,” Self concluded.

— 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

Michael Lorraine 3 years, 10 months ago

It may not have been pretty but I wouldn't call it an ugly win.

Joe Joseph 3 years, 10 months ago

Impressive win. Kansas shoots about as poorly as it has all season, turns the ball over and somehow manages to control the entire game to the point where it felt like the outcome was never really in question.

These first three conference games were essentially must-wins. Monday's game at WVU will be the first would-be-nice-to-win game. I'm interested to see how the team responds. Added motivation that sole possession of first place will be on the line!

Rodney Crain 3 years, 10 months ago

Not sure I would agree that the outcome was never really in question. We were not playing very well and they were doing everything they could to take advantage of that.

I do agree that the WV game would be nice to win.

The difference I am seeing from the last few years and this season is that we do not panic and have enough scoring options to overcome games like that. Add to that the experienced dual PGs playing and we are seeing better play down the stretch that will enable us to win games like these.

Great start to the conference season lets keep it rolling.

Kent Richardson 3 years, 10 months ago

Free throws and Frank vs I've Gotcher Odiase right here.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 10 months ago

Agree with Joe - I never thought that we'd lose that game - it just seemed like the guys had it under control at all time.

Posted on the first story: good to see Svi playing during some important moments of the game. If we would have let Carlton play through any more mistakes, we may very well have lost.

Jared Reeves 3 years, 10 months ago

RCJH. Great win. Tech played great defense, and our shot weren't falling. Perry looked good, even though his shot wasn't great. Lucas played really well, and sets great screens with his wide body, getting 3 point shooters open. I also thought Bragg played well for a while. Graham, and the whole team still have problems stopping dribble penetration.

Kent Richardson 3 years, 10 months ago

You are right as it seemed Tech could get to the rim anytime they tried. Bragg flashed us at the start of the 2nd but over exposed himself when fumbled away a couple of chances. It was concerning to see us miss chip shots at key times, with a rash coming during the weak start, but this may be related to hangoveritis.

Reasonable competence was on display during rim protection and we did not fold even when Tech hit some unconscious shots in the 2nd half. Svi and Brannen were able to score and rebound which lifted us at just the right times.

Important road win by a very good team. Very good and tough may be plenty this year.

Jim Keen 3 years, 10 months ago

This poser certainly has an imagination in fake names (Abubakar Ilyas Rajput?). The forum owner (LJW?) ought to be able to block this junk.

Brett McCabe 3 years, 10 months ago

Research has show that, while happiness can rise with income, it actually plateaus at around $75,000/yr. $77 per hour roughly works out to about $150K and you know what they say; Mo' Money, Mo' Problems.

Stephen H Hadley 3 years, 10 months ago

We needed a game like that when we don't shoot well; there are other ways to win a game. Big game Tuesday night, KU will have to play better to win against WVU.

Bryce Landon 3 years, 10 months ago

Landen Lucas has taken a lot of criticism for his game; but one aspect of his game you have to love is his free throw shooting.

Xandor Okaqui 3 years, 10 months ago

See Michael Porter coming to town. Rock Chalk! 810varsity.com/bestofmidwest

Rodney Pain 3 years, 10 months ago

It was a really great win but you could tell the guys were exhausted. All those short jumpers and sloppy passes: no discredit to Tech's much improved D, but it was more the Jayhawks being gassed than the Raiders being great. There will be no shame if we walk out of Morgantown with an L, but if we leave with a W, that's huge. Hopefully Frank and DeVonte will be breaking the press and tossing lobs on the Mountaineers, but it could be another real ugly game.

Benz Junque 3 years, 10 months ago

The season breaks down to :

9 home games: Need to go at worst 8-1 in these games. Currently 2-0

3 nasty road games @OU, @ISU and @WV: Any win in any of these three games should be considered a cherry on top and counts almost like two wins since the other three contenders will also struggle to get one of these wins

6 other road games @BU, @KSU, @OSU, @UT, @TCU and @TT: Need to go at worst 4-2 in these games. Currently 1-0.

Tony Bandle 3 years, 10 months ago

The next two "trap" games will be @ Iowa State, right before the Kentucky game and home against Kansas State, right after the Kentucky game. I'll settle for two of three [as long as one of the two is UK]!!!

15 games in is a small sample size but just a quick evaluation, Lucas, Graham, Selden are much better than I expected, Perry, Greene, Mickelson are a little better than I expected, Frank, Jamari and Bragg are about what I expected, while Svi, Vick & Chieck are fairly below what expected.

Of course, my expectations are totally non-scientific and could be grossly skewed, however, I think they're based on the individual's potential for growth. For example, Landon has many holes in his game but he has shown improvement in his strengths, ironically free throw shooting being a surprise. He's not nearly as good as Wayne but he is a lot better than Landon '14-'15

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