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Saturday, February 1, 2020

Quick recap: No. 3 Kansas holds off Texas Tech for 78-75 win

Kansas guard Devon Dotson (1) puts up a three from the corner against Texas Tech guard Jahmi'us Ramsey (3) during the first half, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020 at Allen Fieldhouse.

Kansas guard Devon Dotson (1) puts up a three from the corner against Texas Tech guard Jahmi'us Ramsey (3) during the first half, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020 at Allen Fieldhouse.

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In a blink of an eye, No. 3 Kansas shut the door on any potential upset bid by Texas Tech.

The Red Raiders, who ended KU’s streak of regular-season conference titles last year, were threatening late in the second half. And then, in a matter of just three possessions, the Jayhawks proved why they are among the two real contenders for the conference crown this year.

A sequence in the second half helped KU hold off Texas Tech for a 78-75 win on Saturday in Allen Fieldhouse. With the win, the Jayhawks (18-3, 7-1 Big 12) remain alone in second place in the Big 12 standings while waiting for Baylor to have misstep from the No. 1 spot.

Texas Tech (13-8, 4-4 Big 12), which entered Saturday in a three-way tie for third place in the league, trailed all day before trimming the deficit to just two points with 8:46 left to play. Kansas had led by as many as 15, but appeared to be on the verge of a collapse at home.

With KU’s lead down to 57-55, sophomore point guard Devon Dotson took matters into his own hands. He drove hard with his right hand through the Texas Tech defense before netting a much-needed layup. One possession later, sophomore Ochai Agbaji drilled a jumper on a cross-court pass by sophomore center David McCormack.

The decisive blow came on the third possession, however. Agbaji gifted KU the ball with an emphatic block. On the other end, Dotson threw a perfect lob to McCormack for an alley-oop that brought the KU faithful to their feet in Allen Fieldhouse.

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Texas Tech ultimately cut it to a one-possession game in the final minute, but KU made enough plays down the stretch to pull out the win. Dotson led the team with 21 points in the win on 9-of-16 shooting.

Marcus Garrett (15 points), Isaiah Moss (12) and Agbaji all joined Dotson in double figures for Kansas.

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

• The game turned when: Texas Tech didn’t go away quietly, of course, but KU’s dominant start proved to be pivotal in the latest clash between conference foes.

The Jayhawks jumped out to a 17-2 advantage within the first six minutes of the contest. Agbaji drilled a 3-pointer to notch KU’s first basket of the night, but the entire starting rotation contributed to the early 15-point cushion.

And it was especially important in this game to jump out to an early lead, considering the recent history between these two teams. Entering Saturday, the team that scored first in the previous four meetings between these two teams ended up winning with no lead changes.

In fact, the last time there was a lead change between TTU and KU was on Feb. 11, 2017.

• Offensive highlight: It might not have been the best offensive play of the day, but let’s recognize a nice pass by a post when possible.

In the second half, McCormack set a screen and then got the ball near the top of the key. Moss cut through the lane, and McCormack threaded a pass to him in stride. Moss finished things off with an easy layup en route to his seventh double-digit scoring effort of the season.

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• Defensive highlight: A pair of defensive plays stood out in the first half.

The first of which came on a filthy steal by Garrett. The junior guard immediately pushed the ball in transition and got a layup on the other end to complete the sequence. Garrett had multiple strong drives in the first half, though he ended up taking a hard fall on one such play.

Garrett would return with over a minute left in the first half, which has almost become the expectation with how tough he has been this season.

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With Udoka Azubuike dealing with foul trouble once again, McCormack got some extended run in the first half against the Red Raiders.

In his first game back from suspension, McCormack embraced the backup center role. With four guards around him, McCormack got a couple early buckets against TTU. But his play on the defensive end was arguably McCormack’s best highlight on the day.

McCormack swatted a layup attempt in transition, which was his lone block in the first half.

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• Up next: Kansas will play host to Texas at 8 p.m. Monday.

Comments

Dane Pratt 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Something tells me Bill is not happy about this game but in a day when three ranked teams lost at home I guess we should feel good.

Barry Weiss 11 months, 2 weeks ago

It was good to see us stay tough and hold off every surge by Tech.

Mallory Briggans 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Dotson on the offense .....Garrett on the defense . As far as Dotson all is forgiven from the Villanova meltdown .The improvement by Garrett on borh sides of the ball is great . He still dribbles a bit too much but hes a real iron man ...he seems to get hurt every game .....but always seems to get back on the floor that says alot. a true team player . Also a shout out to Dave Mccormack ......good hustle points blocks and rebounds......great win but a little too close for comfort

ROCK CHALK

Creg Bohrer 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I don't care what anyone thinks.. Marcus Garrett for president!

Dane Pratt 11 months, 2 weeks ago

I have an unsubstantiated, baseless and unsupported suspicion Chris Beard will be the head coach at UT next season.

Steve Zimmerman 11 months, 2 weeks ago

Amazing play by McCormack & Moss. Never have I seen before where our player passed a leading pass, great ball movement & cutting - and it's not after a timeout!!! Great improvement. That's what I've been waiting to see from our beloved Jayhawk team, a great passing - a true basketball game. Not only individual plays. Or off inbound passes, or 3pt. Good passing, lobs, good cutting to basket. See how many TT scored off of simple pick and roll - we can learn from them. We're getting there. 3pt D has been great! Still got some room of improvement: allowing 40% 3pt is too much.

Guys started to play together, knocking shots and making great layups. Some develop court awareness.

Enaruna has to pick up quickly. He's not using his athleticism - DUNK the ball, we know you can!! Get more bouncy with your legs! Don't try to putback with a weak jumping, dang it! Go pick up a jumprope - do 300-500 skips every day!

Agbaji, oh you look so good when you knock those Js with those nice fakes!!! But please, please do more fakes before passing!!! You have 4 stupid TOs. His passes are way too easy to intercept.

Micky Baker 11 months, 2 weeks ago

The guys made some crucial mistakes in the game. There is no doubt about that, and this includes everyone. But some of the guys made some good plays. Moss is moving around without the ball and DM made an absolutely sensational pass to him for a score. That was impressive. DM also made another great bounce pass for another score. DM made some great defensive plays too. Braun hit some shots and was active on both ends of the court. I'm not mentioning the stars for a reason. These guys I'm mentioning are why we won this game. They have improved so much from the beginning of the season and they have a lot more upside than we've seen so far. I want Oneruna to get more aggressive on offense, particularly at the rim. DUNK THE BALL! Send a message! I apologize to the other guys for not mentioning you, but I think Moss, DM, and Braun are particularly deserving of some praises. We would not have won this game without their presence.

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