Seniors Help KU Capture 64-51 Win Over No. 24 Texas A&M in Final Home Contest
March 2, 2011
Native Kansans Shine on Senior Night
Postgame Videos Coach Self | Mc. Morris, Morningstar, ReedLAWRENCE, Kan. – A trio of senior guards ended their Allen Fieldhouse careers with a win Wednesday night, helping the second-ranked Kansas Jayhawks to a 64-51 victory over No. 24 Texas A&M. The Jayhawks improved their record to 28-2 overall and 13-2 in the Big 12 Conference. The team finished the 2010-11 home slate 16-1 in Allen Fieldhouse. The Aggies moved to 22-7 on the season and 9-6 in conference play. Seniors Brady Morningstar, Tyrel Reed and Mario Little each gave the Fieldhouse faithful strong performances, contributing a combined 21 points, five rebounds, six assists and eight steals in their final games in front of a home crowd. The three were honored in a ceremony with their family members prior to the game, and gave farewell speeches to the crowd after the win. Reed led the way with 12 points and four steals. Morningstar also swiped four passes, dished out four assists and finished with nine points on a perfect 3-for-3 night from the field. Little tallied three rebounds and an assist to balance out the veteran performances. Juniors Marcus and Markieff Morris led KU with 13 points each. The twins also each posted two blocks while Marcus pulled down five boards and Markieff grabbed three. Junior Tyshawn Taylor added in nine points and three assists. Texas A&M’s Davis Loubeau recorded game-high totals with 14 points and six rebounds. After overcoming a tepid start to the first half, KU took a lead it would never relinquish and held off the Aggies with a decisive run in the second half. In a fitting start to senior night, Reed made the first shot of the game, as he swished a three to give the Jayhawks their first lead. A jumper and a free throw by Marcus soon followed, and Kansas went ahead 6-0 over the first four minutes of play. The Aggies were held scoreless until 15:12, when Loubeau put A&M on the board with a short jumper. However, a long scoreless stretch then ensued, with the Aggies scoring next nearly five minutes later. Both teams shot less than 20 percent to open the game and by the 10-minute mark, had combined for a total of just 13 points. With nine minutes on the clock, Reed got KU back in the game when he took a steal down the court for a fastbreak layup, extending the Jayhawk lead to 9-6. The Aggies went on to even the score twice on two straight possessions, leaving the game tied 11-all at a timeout at 6:37. Coming out of the timeout, Marcus regained possession for the Jayhawks with a block, and Morningstar then hit Markieff for an alley-oop dunk. Taylor followed up with a three, pushing KU’s lead to five. Both offenses finally found their stride down the stretch, as they traded shots back-and-forth, with Kansas holding a slight edge. Up by just one point, Taylor created a three-point lead for the Jayhawks with a jumper. Freshman Josh Selby won a rebound battle and scored on the fastbreak. On the next Kansas possession, Taylor found Markieff under the basket for a layup, making the score 26-19 in favor of the Jayhawks. Selby matched a B.J. Holmes trey with one of his own to further stretch the lead to seven points, 29-22. Dash Harris made one final shot for Texas A&M and the Jayhawks sent the Aggies into the locker room trailing 29-24 at the half. The lead remained with the Jayhawks in the opening minutes of the second frame, extending to eight points early on. But the two continued to go shot-for-shot and play with just a three-point separation. A 7-3 Kansas run saw the Jayhawks go up 43-36, but the Aggies never let up and came back to cut the deficit to just two, 43-41, with 10 minutes left in the game. After an Elijah Johnson dunk put KU back up by four, A&M failed to convert a long possession, turning the ball over on a shot clock violation. It was a turnover that proved key, as Reed then scored four straight points that sparked the rally the Jayhawks had been looking for. With just under seven minutes left and Kansas ahead 49-43, Johnson broke up a play with a steal. Marcus hit Morningstar on the perimeter for a three — his final trey at Allen Fieldhouse. Two free throws by Marcus and a short jumper from Markieff extended the lead to 56-43. Kansas cruised to a 60-47 lead, and Loubeau made a valiant attempt to bring his team back scoring eight points in the final five minutes of the contest, but the Jayhawk defense held the rest of the Aggie squad, capping off their 64-51 victory. The Jayhawks will head across the state line for the regular season finale, taking on No. 22 Missouri Saturday morning. The Border Showdown is slated for 11 a.m., in Columbia, Mo., and will air on CBS.