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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Lagerald Vick’s big night can’t keep Jayhawks unbeaten

Huskies knock off No. 2 KU in K.C.

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (2) puts up a shot in the paint during the first half, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 at Sprint Center.

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (2) puts up a shot in the paint during the first half, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017 at Sprint Center.

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Kansas City, Mo. — A career night from Kansas junior wing Lagerald Vick couldn’t keep the No. 2-ranked Jayhawks undefeated.

Washington almost dared Vick to take over at times, and he responded by scoring a personal-best 28 points on 12-for-23 shooting. However, the Huskies held most of his teammates in check, enabling them to knock off KU, 74-65, Wednesday night at Sprint Center.

After back-to-back 35-point games from senior guard Devonte’ Graham leading up to the Jayhawk Shootout, Washington limited KU’s veteran leader to just three points on 1-for-8 shooting.

Only sophomore center Udoka Azubuike, who finished with 10 points and nine rebounds, joined Vick in double figures for KU (7-1).

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

• The game turned when: Washington (7-2) re-discovered its edge late in the second half. The Huskies played with confidence most of the night, for certain. But for a stretch after halftime the Jayhawks began matching them and igniting the mostly dormant crowd as a result.

But after KU trimmed the UW lead to one with an Azubuike jam with 9:45 to play, the men in black and purple re-gained their footing and a little swagger, as well.

Matisse Thybulle (19 points, 5-for-8 on 3-pointers) often led Washington in that category, and that was the case when the Huskies really needed a lift.

Thybulle’s 3-pointer with 8:03 left set off a stretch during which Washington out-scored the Jayhawks 12-4. His steal and emphatic break-away jam in transition pushed the UW lead back to double digits and helped his team believe this was their night.

• Offensive highlight: Vick remained assertive with the ball in his hands against the Washington zone throughout, whether by driving or passing or scoring in the middle of the defense.

But none of the junior wing’s career-high 12 field goals looked as fierce as a two-handed jam in the second half.

On a particular touch in the paint, Vick caught an entry pass from Svi Mykhailiuk at the left elbow, turned and attacked.

Vick sliced through two would-be Washington defenders, took one power dribble, and took off for a violent jam.


• Defensive highlight: This one goes to the sophomore big man from Nigeria.

Though Azubuike didn’t have nearly as significant of an impact defensively as his head coach Bill Self would’ve liked, the 7-footer took a more active approach trying to protect the rim in the second half.

After being a no-show help-wise on a Thybulle drive and jam, Azubuike at least responded to his coach’s displeasure after that, trying to use his size as a deterrent and blocking a shot.

It wasn’t much, but KU’s defense didn’t exactly thrive in Kansas City.

• Key stat: Easy looks. It was the Huskies’ high-percentage chances against Kansas throughout the first half that challenged the heavily-favored Jayhawks and set a tone.

With six offensive rebounds in the opening 20 minutes — four courtesy of Noah Dickerson — Washington scored 10 second-chance points. UW also cashed in on some KU offensive mistakes, too, turning five turnovers into eight points before halftime.

What’s more, with both Azubuike (seven first-half minutes) and Mitch Lightfoot (five minutes) picking up two fouls apiece early, Washington had an even easier time finding avenues to the rim. While Kansas thrived offensively in the paint in the first half, scoring 22 inside, Washington was able to keep pace getting 18 in the restricted area — another factor in UW taking a 36-34 lead into the locker room at halftime.

• Up next: The Jayhawks will be back in Allen Fieldhouse to take on another Pac-12 foe — and most likely an even more challenging one — in No. 16 Arizona State (7-0). Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday, on ESPN.


More news and notes from Kansas vs. Washington


By the Numbers: Washington 74, Kansas 65.

By the Numbers: Washington 74, Kansas 65.

Comments

Rae Bricil 4 days, 12 hours ago

not the most devastating loss by any means but will say it is one of the worst losses i can remember. To be favored by 20 and lose by 10--wow.

A little worried that this team will fade away in tough moment. I mean yes they beat UK earlier this year but that was a bunch of freshman. Vick may have scored 28 or whatever but could have easily had 50 if he was aggressive and could make layup/short range jumpers. Also, like Oregon Graham and Svi were no existent. Great kids love their attitude but not buying this team has what it takes to reach a F4--overall they seem timid and weak. Hope I am wrong.

P.S. some of this has to be on Self for not adjusting and just letting UW execute their game plan on O&D.

David Robinett 4 days, 12 hours ago

Love Coach, but we made zero adjustments. Never tried to drive.

Our own 3 D sucked.

Michael Maris 4 days, 12 hours ago

Right now, Malik Newman play is horrendous. Hopefully, his playing time performances changes soon.

Teddy Fields 4 days, 12 hours ago

Great game plan by Washington. Give credit where credit is due. Self got out coached.

Mike Barnhart 4 days, 12 hours ago

For a team that loses about 5 games a year, you can usually count on one or two of those happening at Sprint Center. Wow!!!

The first thing to go when guys get tight (start feeling pressure) is the three pointer. When the stakes are high, I think I'd rather be built on defensive toughness and big bruisers inside. Like Coach Self USED TO SAY, "threes are fools gold."

Tony Bandle 4 days, 12 hours ago

I thought they said KU was 36 and 8 or something like that iKC prior to this game?

Tony Bandle 4 days, 12 hours ago

Random Thoughts:

This loss should be shared by everybody on the team, including Billy Preston. His presence would have helped stop the easy interior WU baskets.

I don't care if Silvio hasn't touched a ball since last spring. HE CAN HELP!!

It appears the Syracuse game gave Washington a hell of a lot better idea on how to defend with the zone than it gave KU on how to attack it!

If Vick had been more decisive, he could have had 40 points and maybe forced WU out of their comfort zone!

Oh well....maybe this is our Elite Eight choke early and it's out of the way.

Well, Devonte still has a heck of a three game points per game average.

Suzi Marshall 4 days, 12 hours ago

We lost our two big alpha dogs from last year in Mason and Jackson. If Jackson was in the center of that zone tonight, he probably would have had close to 50 points with all kinds of fouls on the UW players. This team needs a lot of help in the post. We desperately need both Preston and de Silvio.

Plus, we didn't show much desire to put up much resistance.

Kelly Pierce 4 days, 1 hour ago

This is so true. Jackson would have scored 60 last night if UW would have used that strategy all game long and he was in the middle of that zone. Vick is a very unselfish player and a very good player, but not an Alpha Dog. You put an aggressive player in that position and he could have scored every time.

David Morrison 4 days, 12 hours ago

We had 8 team fouls against Washington halfway through the 2nd half.....still did not get to the free throw line. That, coupled with the inability to get stops killed us. It was bound to happen sooner or later. Two losses in a row are a real possibility. Arizona State will be a challenge. We need Preston and Cunliffe.

John Strayer 4 days, 2 hours ago

This team is incredibly soft right now. And the imbalanced roster with only two large bodies in the middle is killing us. And truthfully Dok is at the freshman level, still learning so to rely on him so heavily is a recipe for disaster. And everything I heard preseason about Malik is "scorer" and "All Big XII"....at least I think I remember Self saying he could be all league. But so far he hasn't shown up as a reliable scorer. His double digit scoring average is a mystery to me, because I don't see or remember him scoring after the games are over.

Hopefully after finals are over next week, this team can live in the gym and find some toughness...Coach Self has some work to do.

Rae Bricil 4 days, 1 hour ago

maybe what really happened is the Chefs that were in attendance gave the hawks and pep talk or some words of inspiration. And it was this talk that led KU's performance as it appeared very Chef like.

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