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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Jayhawks secure outright Big 12 title with win over Texas

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (2) scores over Texas guard Eric Davis Jr. (10) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Austin, Texas.

Kansas guard Lagerald Vick (2) scores over Texas guard Eric Davis Jr. (10) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017, in Austin, Texas.

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With an opportunity to lock up an outright Big 12 title Saturday, the Kansas basketball team leaned on some of its players off of the bench in a 77-67 victory over Texas at the Frank Erwin Center.

Only a few days after celebrating their 13th-consecutive conference championship, the Jayhawks received a lift from reserves Dwight Coleby (12 points, four rebounds, one block) and Lagerald Vick (seven points, four rebounds).

Leading by at least five points throughout the second half, KU’s bench stepped up when starters weren’t aren’t at their sharpest offensively. Freshman Josh Jackson led with 18 points on 5-of-14 shooting while senior standout Frank Mason III had 16 points on 5-of-15 shooting.

With two games remaining in the regular season, the Jayhawks own a three-game lead in the Big 12 standings over West Virginia and Iowa State.

KU's latest conference title puts the program in a tie with UCLA, in the 1960s and '70s, for longest stretch of consecutive league titles.

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

The game turned when: After the Longhorns took a one-point lead midway through the first half, their first lead of the night, the Jayhawks responded with a 17-3 run over a five-and-a-half minute stretch.

It started on the defensive end with two straight steals — one leading to a Mason layup and the other in an alley-oop to Vick.

Then the Jayhawks scored on their next four possessions, a 12-0 spurt that gave them enough room to keep Texas at arm’s length for the remainder of the half.

Kansas had a 24-8 advantage in the paint during the first 20 minutes, including a 17-0 lead in bench points.

The Jayhawks took a nine-point lead into the intermission and never let their lead drop to within one possession for the remainder of the night.

Offensive highlight: When Coleby started dominating in the first half. Yes, Dwight Coleby. Remember him? The little-used reserve only had four combined minutes in KU’s last six games. And yet, there he was with 10 points in eight minutes in the first half, which included three dunks.

When the 6-foot-9, 240-pound Ole Miss transfer entered midway through the first half, he immediately scored on a hook shot. Two possessions later, out of a media timeout, Devonte Graham found him open near the basket for an alley-oop.

The Bahamas native added another dunk on a pass from Josh Jackson, a pair of free throws, and a put-back slam on a missed layup from Mason.

Coleby, who had scored seven points in Big 12 play entering Saturday, finished with 12 points and four rebounds in 13 minutes.

Defensive highlight: The Longhorns weren’t particularly strong with the ball in the first half and Vick took advantage. The sophomore guard from Memphis used quick hands to grab a weak bounce pass from Texas guard Jacob Young, starting a 2-on-1 fast break.

Vick tossed a pass to Graham as he continued to sprint up the court and he was rewarded with an alley-oop, which he finished with a ferocious two-handed slam. It helped start a 12-0 run.

Speaking of Graham, he had some of his own defensive highlights in the first half. He had back-to-back steals in the opening minutes, finishing his second steal with a dunk in transition where he let out a yell to the crowd before running back down the court.

Key stat: Points off turnovers. The Jayhawks took full advantage of Texas’ miscues, turning 15 Longhorn turnovers into 28 points. On the other side, Texas scored 13 points on KU’s 11 turnovers.

Up next: The Jayhawks will return to Lawrence for their final game inside of Allen Fieldhouse, celebrating Senior Night against Oklahoma on Big Monday (8 p.m., ESPN).

By the Numbers: Kansas 77, Texas 67.

By the Numbers: Kansas 77, Texas 67.

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


More news and notes from Kansas vs. Texas


Comments

Tracy Ohmart 2 months ago

So glad Bill Walton is over. That was miserable listening to him.

David Brown 2 months ago

Haven't posted in a long while, but couldn't wait to slag Walton. I should have streamed the audio from the KU network now that I think about it. A little Walton....fine. As much as ESPN doled out....too much. Always remember, the sporting event takes precedence. At least KU won!

Steve Zimmerman 2 months ago

I don't mind Walton at all. The guy is fun. He supports KU, he supports Mason, only talks the truth about KU greatness, he doesn't force it. It's always great to have a legend present, especially when KU plays great like today. Thanks Mr. Walton! Rock Chalk!!

Jim Keen 2 months ago

Yes, I too was disgusted with having to listen to Bill Walton drone on about inane stuff throughout the game,and felt bad for Dave Pasch who was trying to actually talk about the game.
To add insult to injury our big-screen TV crapped out, and I had to watch the game on a little 17 inch TV. With all the times that ESPN went to split screen to show Walton's antics, My little screen was cut in half further. Agree... great to see Dwight Colby getting minutes and producing in kind. Love all the dunks. Eliminates the missed bunnies which is SO hard to watch.

Marius Rowlanski 2 months ago

Did Walton ever figure out what conference Kansas plays in?

Kenneth Johnson 2 months ago

For most of the game, it looked like ESPN only covered Walton and his partner. Don't they know that the purpose of the view was the basketball game, not the announcers? And we could have gone without Walton changing his shirt several times. Even his partner thought that was gross.

It was great however, to see that Self was finally, I mean FINALLY, playing Dwight Coleby, who was excellent. I'm not sure why Self hasn't played him more, as he has been productive in the few minutes Self has let him in. We will need him in the NCAA tourney.

Ken Johnson (KU '70 - MS) Author of Kansas University Basketball Legends, 2013, and More University of Kansas Basketball Legends, 2014, both published by The History Press.

Marius Rowlanski 2 months ago

I thought Walton's co-announcer was the happiest person in Texas to see the final clock run out.

Justin Kruse 2 months ago

It was great seeing Coleby making the most of his playing time! Love watching this team when they move the ball around!

Honestly, I kind of liked Walton. Yes, he was a bit annoying but he doesn't take himself too seriously. Way better than listening to Dickie V!

Rock Chalk!

Steve Zimmerman 2 months ago

Coleby rocks! He can give us extra help going forward. His knee looks good, he's got vertical j, and can defend, too. Good to watch Hawks start lobbing and jammin'!!!

Mike Greer 2 months ago

Coleby really showed up to play!!! His minutes have been limited, but I thought he was making the most of them. Unfortunately Svi is still in a rut and Bragg didn't get much time.

Brett McCabe 2 months ago

Overheard phone conversation between Jarrett Allen and his parents, "Mom, Dad, what the hell was I thinking?"

Steve Zimmerman 2 months ago

The kid will do well in the league. He's got talents and a joy to watch. He pulled JJ off the floor - I knew he was a good kid.

Kent Richardson 2 months ago

That was a good gesture from Allen for sure.

Carl O'Hair 2 months ago

So many people talk about shutting down the sound for Dickie V but as much as I don't like him I shut off the sound pretty often because of Walton. I think from all the away from game pictures ESPN showed of Walton clowning they must think we like to hear him.

I watched 3 games before the Jayhawks game and never seeing Fran Fraschilla was sure we might be lucky and have him. I WILL never have the sound on with Walton on again. He didn't even know who the teams at the game were.

Dave Miller 2 months ago

Listening to Walton made me miss Fran Fraschilla....and watching Walton was even worse!

Tony Bandle 2 months ago

As I posted on another article, if a video of Walton and Vitale having a conversation was shot into space and discovered by an alien race, that race would rush to destroy this very weird and deranged planet!! :)

Still, I'll take Crazy Bill every day of the week and twice on Sunday over "pants on backwards!"

Marius Rowlanski 2 months ago

Either that or they would quarantine our entire solar system.

Jerry Walker 2 months ago

Bill Walton is a moron. He single-handedly destroyed what should have been a very enjoyable evening watching Jayhawk basketball.

Barry Weiss 2 months ago

lol...funny comments on Walton. I missed the game. I will say, living here in Arizona, Walton does the Arizona games and UCLA. You would think both of those teams could beat any NBA team listening to him. Oh well, that is just his style. He really does not even try to be objective until he has to be. So after proclaiming the greatness of UofA or UCLA prior to their games, if they struggle or do bad, he will then reluctantly give the opponent some backhanded props. I did really like him as a player and do laugh at some of his current comments.

Lin Rahardja 2 months ago

Vote our Senior Class Award: Frank Mason III here: http://www.seniorclassaward.com/vote/mens_basketball_2016-17/ P.S> You can vote daily.

Harlan Hobbs 2 months ago

This was one of the few conference games this year where I was never concerned about the outcome, even when KU had some lapses. It was clear that KU had a huge talent and coaching advantage over the Longhorns.

It's beginning to look to me like Shaka Smart might be in a little over his head in this conference. He may be like Scott Drew and never get the brass ring.

Marius Rowlanski 2 months ago

Texas has a decent recruiting class but as of yet, nobody as good as our 2 recruits or our transfers. Self would do fine with nothing but four-star recruits but I don't believe Shaka has the patience or the time to completely rebuild the program.

As for Scott Drew, let's remember that his team wasn't even ranked to start the season. Oklahoma is obviously down the season but I expect them to be much better next year and Jamie Dixon is off to a great start at TCU.

Elliott Teters 2 months ago

i could tolerate Walton because i could turn the sound down or off. What i found most unacceptable was ESPN'S fascination with him, causing more split screens than i have ever witnessed in an NCAA game. Even with my 55 inch tv, I had trouble watching many of the plays on the half screen.

Harlan Hobbs 2 months ago

My thoughts regarding Scott Drew are mostly based upon how Baylor has traditionally fared in conference action. They almost always get raves early in the season and often look unbeatable. However, usually somewhere along the way, they have a slump that dooms them.

Their season really started descending when they lost to KSU at home. That same day, we lost to ISU at home and still retained our one game lead. Then, we had the miracle comeback against WVU, and they lost the next night to Texas Tech. Finally, we put the final nail in the coffin by beating them at Waco where we trailed practically the whole game before pulling it out.

The bottom line is that we have the best coach by far in the conference and clearly one of the best in the country. I just hope that the Spurs don't steal him away when Gregg Popovich finally retires.

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