By Matt Tait ---- email@example.com
Kansas City, Mo. — In its first attempt at taking on the world, the Kansas University men's basketball team opened up its opportunity to represent the United States in next month's World University Games in South Korea with a 91-83 victory over Team Canada at Sprint Center.
In a game that clearly meant something to both teams and occasionally featured chants of “U-S-A, U-S-A” from the 8,000 or so fans who packed the arena, the Jayhawks had to go all the way down to the wire to pick up the victory.
Frank Mason III (26 points overall and 14 in the fourth quarter), Perry Ellis (17 points, 8 rebounds) and Wayne Selden Jr. (13 points, 6 assists) all made some clutch plays on both ends down the stretch to help KU hold off the Canadians.
SMU senior Nic Moore started at the point for Kansas and looked very comfortable helping run Bill Self's offense and push the pace all night. He finished with nine points and five assists before fouling out.
Tuesday's exhibition also gave KU fans their first look at newcomers Carlton Bragg and Legerald Vick, who each had their good moments and mixed them in with a few, classic freshman mistakes.
Bragg, who showed great touch on his jumper, finished with four points and four rebounds, and Vick, who ended the first half with a hard-driving layup at the buzzer, scored four.
Stay logged on to KUsports.com throughout the night for much more from tonight's game.
Here’s a quick look back at some of the action:
• The game turned when: KU stormed all the way back from an early, 10-point deficit to take a one-point lead midway through the third quarter. Selden hit a couple of buckets from behind the three-point line to spark the run that gave Kansas a five-point lead after three quarters.
• Offensive highlight: As is almost always the case, there were a couple of lobs that brought the Sprint Center crowd to its feet and both of them involved KU junior Selden. The swingman was on the finishing end of the first one, as he caught a lob from Mason and flushed it early in the game. After the dunk, Mason looked to the crowd and tried to get people to get loud. Later in the first quarter, Selden tossed a perfect pass to Ellis on the backside for an easy, two-handed jam.
• Defensive highlight: Midway through the final quarter, with things tight on the scoreboard and both teams beginning to battle a little harder on every possession, senior Jamari Traylor rejected a layup attempt by Canada's Jahmal Jones. Instead of the Canadians going up three, KU went up one when Mason finished a tough layup on the other end after the Traylor block.
• Key stat: KU and Canada combined for nearly 140 field goal attempts, a clear sign that the 24-second international shot clock has a serious impact on the game. That gives you some kind of indication of what the college game's move to a 30-second clock (from 35) will do this winter.
• Up next: Before heading to Korea on Sunday, the Jayhawks will play one more exhibition against this same Canadian team at 7 p.m. on Friday at Sprint Center.
Selden FT ties it