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Saturday, February 8, 2020

Quick recap: No. 3 Kansas powers past TCU for 60-46 win

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) dunks against TCU defenders guard Edric Dennis (2), PJ Fuller (4,) Kevin Samuel (21) and Charles O'Bannon Jr. (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Kansas center Udoka Azubuike (35) dunks against TCU defenders guard Edric Dennis (2), PJ Fuller (4,) Kevin Samuel (21) and Charles O'Bannon Jr. (5) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

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KU’s first possession of the second half really told the whole story of its 60-46 win over TCU Saturday afternoon in Schollmaier Arena.

Junior guard Marcus Garrett, who was at the top of the key, threaded a pass to Kansas center Udoka Azubuike near the rim. Azubuike caught the ball, and spun past TCU center Kevin Samuel before finishing off the sequence with a dunk. It gave the Jayhawks a 31-18 advantage at the time.

The broadcast crew on ESPN2 then proceeded to provide a perfect summation of that particular play, which was emblematic of what worked for the Jayhawks (20-3, 9-1 Big 12) in their eighth consecutive victory.

“Kevin Samuel has no chance,” ESPN color commentator Chris Spatola said on the broadcast after the play. “He’s kind of playing like a wet noodle right now, to be honest with you. There is no fight. There is no resistance whatsoever. That’s as easy as I have seen it all year.”

TCU (13-10, 4-6 Big 12) eventually made things interesting, pulling within four with seven minutes remaining. But Kansas ultimately staved off the hosts, winning its 15th game in the last 16 meetings with TCU. KU now leads the overall series with TCU, 19-2, including 9-1 in games played in Fort Worth.

Azubuike was a big reason why the Jayhawks powered past the Horned Frogs, too. Azubuike finished with a team-high 20 points on 10-of-14 shooting to go along with 15 rebounds and five blocks in the win. Sophomore point guard Devon Dotson added 18 points for Kansas.

KU finished with 11 dunks on its 20 2-point baskets against TCU, most of which were rim-rattling slams by Azubuike. The Jayhawks also finished with six layups, while leading for 32-plus minutes against the Horned Frogs.

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

• The game turned when: TCU pulled within a 44-40 margin with seven minutes remaining, and appeared to be making things interesting.

Then, the Jayhawks proved why they are a national title contender this season. Moments later, Kansas held a 59-42 advantage after a decisive run by the visitors. Isaiah Moss capped off the stretch with a 3-pointer with 2:31 left to play, which effectively ended TCU’s late surge.

• Offensive highlight: All of the dunks were significant in KU’s latest win.

The 11 dunks on 12 attempts was an impressive performance by the Jayhawks. Kansas finished with 11 dunks on its 20 made 2-pointers, which is a dunk share of 55% against TCU. For comparison, Kansas ranked third in the nation with a dunk share of 13.6% entering today.

• Defensive highlight: Really the whole game was a stellar defensive effort by Kansas, but especially the first half.

The Jayhawks held the Horned Frogs to a season-low 18 points in the first half, taking a 31-18 advantage into the locker room at the intermission. TCU went 8-for-27 in the first 20 minutes of the game, including a 2-of-11 effort from beyond the arc.

• Up next: Kansas will travel to West Virginia on Wednesday.

Comments

Barry Weiss 2 weeks, 5 days ago

great defense. that was really a must win game with next week going to WV.

Dane Pratt 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Congratulations Coach Self on your 700th win. You are the second youngest coach to reach that plateau next to Bobby Knight who coincidentally was honored at Indiana today ending a 20 year feud. We should be playing the Hoosiers more often, like every year.

Dirk Medema 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Indiana hasn’t been worth playing since Coach Knight left. There are much better options out there.

Dane Pratt 2 weeks, 5 days ago

Cmon, are you serious. They are one of the elite programs in college basketball. We could be padding our all time stats against them. Let's play them.

Dirk Medema 2 weeks, 5 days ago

So much for the big match up with Samuel. That was a virtual no show.

Dane Pratt 2 weeks, 5 days ago

OSU is the worst team in the conference but in both games against Baylor the Cowboys were down by 2 with less than 20 seconds. Can’t wait for the rematch.

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