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Saturday, January 21, 2017

Jayhawks’ 3-pointers carry them past Texas

KU wins 50th straight in Allen Fieldhouse

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) lines up a three over Texas guard Eric Davis Jr. (10) during the first half, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Devonte' Graham (4) lines up a three over Texas guard Eric Davis Jr. (10) during the first half, Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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With all four of its starting perimeter players making multiple 3-pointers Saturday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse, the No. 2-ranked Kansas basketball team had enough offense to hold off a pesky Texas team in a 79-67 victory.

The Jayhawks (18-1 overall, 7-0 Big 12) shot 11-for-23 (47.8 percent) as a team, led by junior Devonte’ Graham’s 18 points (4-for-8 from deep).

Senior Frank Mason III (2-for-4 on 3’s, 17 points), freshman Josh Jackson (2-for-5, 15) and junior Svi Mykhailiuk (2-for-4, 12) propelled KU to its 18th consecutive victory.

By defeating Texas (7-12, 1-6), KU picked up its 50th consecutive win inside Allen Fieldhouse. Including the Jayhawks’ “home court” games at Sprint Center, in Kansas City, Mo., their home winning streak of 53 currently leads the nation.

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

• The game turned when: The Jayhawks opened and closed the first half strong, behind the shooting of Graham.

KU’s stellar junior guard scored seven of his 15 first-half points during an outpouring of offense — fueled in large part by UT turnovers — in the opening five-plus minutes. Graham’s 3-pointer from the right wing opened the game, he got to the free-throw line for a couple easy points and by the time he converted a layup off a Jackson steal, Kansas had put the Longhorns in a 14-2 hole.

Graham emerged again in the final five minutes of the half. His 3-pointer with 4:57 left until intermission pushed KU’s cushion back to six after Texas had cut it to three during a span in which Mason spent a lot of time on the bench, with two fouls.

Soon after, Graham followed a Mykhailiuk 3-pointer with his third of the half, sending KU’s lead back to double digits.

Behind freshman Jarrett Allen’s double-double (22 points, 19 rebounds), Texas put up more of a fight than appeared possible in the opening minutes, and the Longhorns kept competing in the second half. But KU and Graham put together a strong enough first half to keep the Jayhawks mostly comfortable down the stretch.

• Offensive highlight: Playing for the first time in three games, seldom-used backup freshman big Mitch Lightfoot provided KU with an unexpected spark in the first half — just in time, too.

The Jayhawks hand’t scored from the field in more than six minutes when Lightfoot’s hustle put an end to the drought. Even more unforeseen than KU’s offensive struggles after jumping out to a 14-point lead, Mason actually missed a layup attempt after attacking the rim in transition. Instead of assuming the senior leader would convert, though, the 6-foot-8 Lightfoot ran hard after Mason as a trailer, then leapt up above the Longhorns in the paint to tip in the offensive rebound and end a 9-0 Texas run.

• Defensive highlight: A single stop didn’t necessarily stand out for the Jayhawks against Texas. But the takeaways, in total, certainly did.

Before Saturday, Kansas hadn’t collected more than 10 steals in a game this season. Against UT, though, KU earned a number of stops by capitalizing on Longhorns miscues with steals, and finished the game with a season-high 14.

Speaking of takeaways…

• Key stat: Points off turnovers. By the end of the game, Kansas scored 15 points via UT’s 19 giveaways. But the Longhorns also hung around because they turned KU mistakes into buckets, as well. Texas scored 19 points off 16 Kansas turnovers, making it just about impossible for the home team to roll to a dominating win.

• Up next: The Jayhawks kick off what figures to be the most difficult stretch of their season with a trip to face No. 7 West Virginia, in Morgantown, W. Va., on Tuesday. KU then travels to No. 5 Kentucky Jan. 28, before returning to the fieldhosue to take on No. 6 Baylor on Feb. 1.

By the Numbers: Kansas 79, Texas 67.

By the Numbers: Kansas 79, 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

Steve Zimmerman 5 months ago

Keep playing inside out, coach. Our team will be buried soon in the tourney. Good luck! Jarett >>> our 3 Bigs in all category. 3s did bail us out. I'm not sure how some say this team play the fastest ever. Frank, yea. But as a team? Until you see PGs set others easy lobs, run pick-n-roll, passing well inside, then you can crown them the fastest in the last 10yrs.. How bout defense? Anyway, let's just pray that we will keep winning and be happy with low margin. Now, let's fight against UK!!!

Jay Scott 5 months ago

I hate to point out how foolish your comments are.....

"Bigs" matchup -

Jackson/Lucas/Bragg/Lightfoot 27 pts 23 rebs

Allen/Cleare/Isom/Banks 34 points 22 rebs

"Defense" -

KU 42.4% Opponent Shooting 19 TOs created 40 rebs

UT 46.7% Opponent Shooting 16 TOs created 33 rebs.

Texas was worse than season average in all categories but 3 pt %

Lobs = pace of play? Really?

Sorry dude. Just wrong.

Jay Scott 5 months ago

Steve. Your point was that Texas bigs vastly outperformed the Kansas bigs. They didn't.

If you're adding up the Lucas/Bragg/Lightfoot production only vs the Texas bigs who played far more minutes, of course Texas looks better.

News flash! Jackson is playing the 4. HE WAS GUARDING ALLEN much of the game. In order to have an intelligent comparison, Jackson's numbers need to be inserted, even though he's listed as a guard on the roster.

That aside, the rest of your comments were even more ridiculous. Seriously...running the pick and roll is "playing fast"? Wow...That's the kind of drool that Bert McCabe or Joe Whatshisname typically post...

...just trying to help you avoid looking like a fool, or worse, a Chicken Little.

Dirk Medema 5 months ago

"playing inside out"? Seriously? This team is so far removed from playing inside out. Do they feed Lucas in the post occasionally, sure, but that is a far cry from playing inside out. In the past when we had multiple bigs? Sure, Coach would go to great lengths to get the perimeter players to feed the post. That's not this year.

Even if Jarett had a good game, did it make a difference? Others have as well and left with an L.

It shouldn't be a news flash that this is a perimeter oriented team. It would be nice if the bigs would step up more, but not likely that Carlton, Mitch, or Dwight is going to develop enough in the next 2 months to supplant even Vick.

What might be a news flash is that this 4 G team is leading the conference in rebounding. That means that UT/Allen and all the others are playing catch-up. In the standings as well as R's.

Craig Jackson 5 months ago

We have got to be one of the poorest "last possession of the half" defending teams in all of the land. The end of the first half seems to bring an opposition's bucket at or near the buzzer with all too much frequency. On the flip side, probably gets HCBS good and ready for some lively halftime locker room discourse!

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