No. 16 Tennessee Hands Jayhawks First Loss of Season

Jan. 10, 2010

Box Score | Notes

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – – Despite 22 points from senior Sherron Collins and battling back within three points with a minute left in the game, the Kansas basketball team could not overcome Tennessee as the Volunteers handed KU its first loss of the season, 76-68, Sunday.

With just over a minute to play, a steal by Collins followed by a three-pointer from junior Brady Morningstar put the trailing Jayhawks within three points at 71-68.

Tennessee came down the court taking its time and managed to drain a three-pointer of its own with 36 seconds remaining in the game. Despite its best efforts, KU could not answer with a basket of its own and was forced to foul as time expired. The Vols went 2-for-3 from the charity stripe in the final 30 seconds of the game to seal the victory.

The loss dropped the previously unbeaten Jayhawks to 14-1 on the season, while Tennessee improved its record to 12-2 in both teams’ final tune-up before conference play.

Kansas suffered the loss after shooting 37.7 percent from the field, its second-lowest shooting percentage this season. Conversely, Tennessee hit 48.1 percent of its shots, the highest shooting percentage by a KU opponent this season. Tennessee also took advantage of 16 KU turnovers, which the Vols converted into 16 points.

After gaining a one-point lead at the 18:03 mark in the second half when sophomore Tyshawn Taylor threw down an alley-oop pass from Collins, the Jayhawks trailed for the remainder of the game until a 7-0 run by the Jayhawks tied the score at 64. Kansas struggled to put points on the board scoring just four points in the final four minutes of the contest.

Sophomore Tyshawn Taylor contributed 13 points in the effort, while freshman Xavier Henry added 10 points, all in the second half.

In the first half, Collins helped Kansas gain an early lead scoring five of the Jayhawks’ first seven points. Six minutes into the game, Morningstar gave Kansas its largest lead of the contest at 14-6 when he hit his first shot of the game.

However, Tennessee began chipping away at its deficit and hit three-straight three-pointers to knot the score at 19-all with just over eight minutes to play in the first half. A two-pointer from Aldrich helped earn Kansas the lead again but the Vols sank their next two shots to give Tennessee its first lead of the contest at the 5:59 mark.

KU closed out the final four minutes of the half on a 7-2 run, including a three-pointer from Tyrel Reed with three seconds remaining, to even the score at 33-33 heading into the locker rooms.

Aldrich pulled down 12 of his season-high 18 rebounds in the first half marking the most rebounds in a half by a Jayhawk since Nick Collison had 13 in the second half versus Syracuse on April 7, 2003.

The Jayhawks out-rebounding the Volunteers 42-35 during the contest.

Kansas, the five-time defending Big 12 regular-season champion, opens conference play at Nebraska on Wednesday, Jan. 13, at 8 p.m. on ESPN2. Kansas returns home to host Texas Tech on Saturday, Jan. 16, at 12:45 p.m. That game will be televised on the Big 12 Network.