Chalmers Scores 30 To Lift Kansas To 84-74 Victory Against Texas In Big 12 Championship Game
March 16, 2008
<?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Mario Chalmers scored a career-high 30 points and Brandon Rush scored 19 as Kansas won its third straight Big 12 Conference Tournament title beating Texas 84-74 on Sunday.<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>
Kansas scored 14 of the game’s final 17 points to get the win after trailing 71-70 with 4:42 to play.
With the win Kansas improved to 31-3, while Texas dropped to 28-6. Kansas has won seven straight games, its second longest winning streak of the year, behind a 20-game streak to open the season.
Chalmers’ 30 points tied the Kansas individual record for most points in a tournament game as he matched the 30 points scored by Paul Pierce vs. Missouri in 1997 and Wayne Simien vs. Oklahoma State in 2005.
Chalmers drained eight of 12 three-pointers and Rush hit six of nine trey attempts as the Jayhawks’ 15 threes made were just one shy of the school record.
Darrell Arthur joined Chalmers and Rush in double figures as he scored 16 points on six of nine shooting. He also pulled down a game-high nine rebounds.
Texas was led by D.J. Augustine, who finished with 20 points. Augustine, who scored 18 in the first half, was o-of-nine shooting in the second half, scoring only on two free throws in the final period.
After both teams shot 58 percent in the first half, each came out cold to start the final period. Kansas missed its first five shots, while Texas was just one of its first 12 attempts. It didn’t take long after that for both teams to get going again. Chalmers sparked Kansas scoring eight straight points to give KU a 55-52 lead.
Kansas pushed the margin to 60-54 after Darnell Jackson made two free throws and Rush hit another three pointer. KU led 64-56 a few minutes later before Texas scored 11 straight points to gain a 67-64 lead with 7:40 left in the game.
KU regained the lead at 70-69 on a Sherron Collins three-pointer. After Texas went ahead 71-70, the Jayhawks scored five straight points en route to outscoring the Longhorns 14-3 the rest of the way.
The first half was an exciting battle with each team pulling ahead early before exchanging baskets the last seven minutes of the period. Texas took a narrow 46-45 lead into the lockerroom as both teams shot 58 percent from the field in the first period.
Texas drilled eight of 11 three-pointers, but Kansas hit nine of 15, including five of six by Chalmers and four of seven by Rush. KU dominated the boards 16-9 in the first half, but had seven turnovers to Texas’ two.
Chalmers finished the first half with 17 points on six of seven shooting, while adding five assists. Rush had 12. On the Texas side, Augustine scored 18 while hitting all four of his three-point attempts. Justin Mason added 12 points and five assists in the half for the Longhorns.
Trailing 8-3, Kansas went on a 10-0 run to pull ahead 13-8. The Jayhawks extended the run to 18-5 to lead 21-13 after Rush hit a three-pointer. The Jayhawks made each of their first four three-point attempts of the game.
Texas responded with a 14-0 run to gain a 27-21 advantage before KU stopped the scoring streak with a Sasha Kaun dunk and three-point play at the 8:28 mark. That started a fury of baskets by both teams as neither team led by more than four points the rest of the half.
For the game, Kansas shot 49 percent, while Texas made just 24 percent of its shots in the second half to finish at 40.6 percent. KU out-rebounded the Longhorns 42-29.
Kansas will find out its seed in the NCAA Tournament later Sunday afternoon. The Jayhawks will be making their 37th overall NCAA Tournament appearance as well as their 19th consecutive.