Robinson Powers Kansas To 65-50 Win Over Detroit In NCAA Second Round Action

March 16, 2012

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OMAHA, Neb. – Kansas junior All-American forward Thomas Robinson’sNCAA leading 24th double-double led the Jayhawks to a 65-50 win over 15th -seeded Detroit in the Second Round of the 2012 NCAA Championship at the CenturyLink Center Friday evening. Robinson had 16 points and 13 rebounds, leaving him one double-double shy of tying the KU school record of 25 set by Drew Gooden during the 2001-02 season.

KU, the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region, will take on 10th-seeded Purdue on Sunday afternoon. The Jayhawks and Boilermakers will tip-off at approximately 7:40 p.m., at the CenturyLink Center with a live broadcast on TNT.

Kansas road Robinson’s back to a 34-24 advantage at the half as the Washington, D.C., native had 12 points and eight rebounds in the opening 20 minutes of play. Robinson made 7-of-13 shots from the field for the game and also dished two assists. Robinson’s 13 boards made him just the fourth player in Kansas history to record 400 or more rebounds in a season joining Wilt Chamberlain (1957), Drew Gooden (2002) and Clyde Lovellette (1952).

Fellow junior Elijah Johnsonhad a strong second half for Kansas posting 12 second-half points. Johnson finished the game nearly perfect from the field, knocking down six of his eight shot attempts en route to 15 total points.

After taking a 10-point lead into halftime, Kansas quickly put the game away by opening the second half on a 19-4 run. Back-to-back threes by Johnson and Conner Teahangave Kansas a 53-28 lead with 13 minutes left to play, marking its largest lead of the game.

Detroit answered with a quick 10-2 spurt to trim the Jayhawk lead to 17 points at the 11:28 mark off of back-to-back dunks by Doug Anderson. The Titans would get within 15 points on their final basket of the game, but Kansas ultimately cruised to the 65-50 victory.

The game started as a back and forth affair. Kansas got on the board first with a dunk from Robinson, but Detroit answered right back with a jumper from Eli Holman. Jeff Witheygot two free throws for KU before Ray McCallum nailed a jumper and followed it up with a steal and lay up to give the Titans their largest lead of the half at 6-4.

The lead would not last long as Johnson immediately drilled a three-pointer for Kansas as the Jayhawks reclaimed the lead. KU and UDM went back and forth before Detroit took a two point advantage at 15-13 after getting five-straight points from Anderson, the final two coming off a thunderous dunk .

KU senior guard Tyshawn Taylorthen went to work getting four quick points for the Jayhawks. McCallum knocked down an outside jumper from the baseline and Anderson added another dunk giving Detroit a 21-19 lead with 9:00 remaining on the first half clock.

Following a KU timeout, the Jayhawks took control of the game, scoring six-straight points and closing the half on a15-3 run. Robinson had six points during the stretch, while Kevin Youngadded five points and Taylor contributed four tallies as Kansas took a 34-24 lead into the break.

Robinson helped KU to a good shooting performance in the first half as he knocked down 6-of-9 shots from the field. As a team Kansas shot 50.0 percent, hitting 14-of-28 baskets from the floor. Taylor finished with 10 first half points, making 5-of-8 attempts from the floor.

For the game KU shot 46.0 percent, compared to just 31.7 percent for Detroit. The Kansas defense held the Titans to just 3-of-17 makes from beyond the arc. UDM had a slight edge on the boards out-rebounding Kansas 41-40.

Young narrowly missed joining Robinson, Johnson and Taylor in double figures with nine points and Withey had seven points, nine boards and five blocks.

Kansas will now turn its attention to Purdue, a 72-69 winner over Saint Mary’s. The Boilermakers enter Sunday’s tilt with a 22-12 overall mark and were led by Terone Johnson’s 21 points in the win over the Gaels.