Collins Celebrates KU Senior Night With Big 12 Championship As No. 2 Jayhawks Defeat No. 5 Kansas State 82-65

March 3, 2010

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Collins | X. Henry | Mk. Morris | Self

Collins Caps Off Big 12 Title On Senior Night

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LAWRENCE, Kan. – With senior Sherron Collins struggling in the first half of his final home game, freshman Xavier Henry took charge before handing the night over to the Jayhawks’ lone senior in the annual senior night for Kansas basketball at Allen Fieldhouse.

Henry, who scored 15 points in the first half, finished with a team-high 19 points, while Collins added 17, including nine in the second half, to lead No. 2 Kansas to an 82-65 victory against No. 5 Kansas State Wednesday night.

The victory gave Kansas its sixth straight Big 12 regular season championship with one game remaining in the regular season. The win also extended the nation’s longest active home court winning streak to 59 consecutive games.

Kansas improved to 28-2 overall and 14-1 in Big 12 Conference play with the victory. Kansas State fell to 24-5 overall and 11-4 in league play. The Jayhawks won on senior night for the 26th straight year as Collins was recognized before and after the game.

Collins has been a part of 125 victories in his KU career, the most of any Jayhawk in history.

Collins struggled shooting the ball in the first half, making just one of nine shots. Midway through the second half, however, he scored seven straight points in a key run, which spurred the Jayhawks to the victory.

The second half was filled with runs as Kansas State scored seven straight points on three consecutive possessions to turn a 45-38 halftime deficit into a 45-45 tie.

KU quickly called timeout at the 17:06 mark. The Jayhawks came out of the huddle firing with Brady Morningstar drilling a three-pointer to start a 12-2 run which put KU up 57-47.

Collins’ seven-point stretch came soon after the Wildcats had rattled off six straight points to pull within 57-53. However, KU used a 16-1 run to lead 75-56 en route to the victory.

Two other Jayhawks reached double-figures in points as Tyshawn Taylor had 11 points and four assists and Markieff Morris scored 10 while pulling down nine rebounds.

Kansas State was led by Denis Clemente who scored 21 points and Jacob Pullen who scored 20.

The Jayhawk defense came to life in the second half. The visiting Wildcats shot 50 percent in the first half, but made just seven of 24 in the second half for a 29.2 percent mark. KSU ended up hitting just 40 percent of its attempts for the game.

On the other end KU struggled in the first half shooting just 43 percent, but upped that mark to 62 percent in the second half before finishing the game at 51 percent.

Xavier Henry hit two three-pointers in the game’s first 2:22 of the game as KU built up a 9-2 advantage right out of the gate. However, Henry picked up his second foul one minute later and went to the bench.

That didn’t stop the Jayhawks, who pushed the margin to 18-6 less than six minutes into the game. Markieff Morris keyed the KU offense scoring eight straight points to put the Jayhawks up 21-12 at the 11:40 mark.

The Wildcats cut their deficit to 25-19 before Henry returned to the game. The freshman scored a basket just 40 seconds into his second stint in the game after sitting out seven minutes. That started a 6-0 run for KU, who then led 31-19.

After Henry scored his 10th point to give KU a 33-20 lead, KSU ran off seven straight points, including a dunk by Rodney McGruder off a steal and a three-pointer by Jacob Pullen after a McGruder block.

The Wildcats were able to get within 40-36 before the half ended with KU on top 45-38. The Jayhawks were outshot 52 percent to 42 percent from the field and out-rebounded 20-13 by Kansas State, but were able to score 13 points off eight KSU turnovers and making six more free throws

Kansas will conclude the regular season at Missouri on Saturday. The game will be televised on CBS beginning at 1 p.m.