No. 1 Kansas Advances to Big 12 Championship Title Game
March 12, 2010
KANSAS CITY, Mo. –
A 21-2 run late in the second half secured the Kansas men’s basketball victory versus Texas A&M in the Big 12 Championship semifinals Friday evening. The No. 1 Jayhawks defeated TAMU 79-66 and will now play in their eighth Big 12 title game Saturday. A day after Kansas recorded its 2,000 all-time victory, head coach Bill Self collected his 200th career victory at Kansas.
With 10:19 left to play in the game, freshman Xavier Henry hit a three-point basket, his first points of the half, to bring KU within one point of the Aggies at 55-54. The shot jump-started a 21-2 run by the Jayhawks over the next six minutes, in which Henry scored 11 points.
The Kansas defense held Texas A&M to just four three throws and two field goals for the final eight minutes and 51 seconds of play as KU was able to put the game well out of reach.
Kansas senior Sherron Collins led all players with 26 points in the effort. Henry chipped in with 15 and sophomore Markieff Morris came off the bench with 10 points as KU improved to 31-2 on the season. TAMU fell to 23-9.
The Jayhawks shot a scorching 56.0 percent from the field during the game. Texas A&M started the contest shooting 50.0 percent in the first half, but fizzled in the final 20 minutes hitting 36.0 percent.
KU was also able to take advantage of eight Aggie turnovers in the final half to score 15 of its points. Kansas struggled early the contest with its own miscues committing 12 in the first half.
On the boards, Kansas out-rebounded the Aggies 32-27 led by junior Cole Aldrich, who pulled down nine to go along with nine points. Aldrich brought his career point total to 1,004 as he became the 52nd Jayhawk in program history to reach 1,000 career points.
After missing its first two shots of the contest, Kansas hit its next six baskets and eventually used an 11-2 run to take its first lead of the game at 18-16 following a traditional three-point play from freshman Tyshawn Taylor with 11:24 on the clock. Texas A&M responded with nine straight points to quickly take back the advantage.
The Jayhawks worked up a one-point lead two more times but at 5:32, the Aggies regained a lead it would hold for the rest of half. Taylor missed a three-pointer at the buzzer which would have tied the score. KU trailed 38-35 heading into the break.
Kansas will face the winner of the Baylor-Kansas State game in the Big 12 Championship title game on Saturday at 5 p.m. on ESPN.