No. 13 Kansas Upsets No. 2 Ohio State, 78-67
Dec. 10, 2011
LAWRENCE, Kan. – A complete team effort, highlighted by 58 percent shooting mark, powered No. 13 Kansas past the previously undefeated No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes, 78-67, Saturday afternoon in Allen Fieldhouse.
Using a balanced attack, all but one of the nine players KU head coach Bill Self checked into the game scored as Kansas (7-2) shot at a 58 percent clip for the second time this season, including a 65 percent mark in the first half. Senior guard Tyshawn Taylor dished out a career-high 13 assists – more than OSU had allowed to an opposing team this season. Off the bench, KU received a 21-4 scoring edge, highlighted by 14 points from junior forward Kevin Young, his most as a Jayhawk.
Junior forward Thomas Robinson’s 14 second-half points gave him a team-best 21 points to lead his team past Ohio State (8-1), which entered the matchup as the NCAA’s No.1 in scoring margin. Aside from Young, junior guards Elijah Johnson (15) and Travis Releford (10) also put up double figures.
Without the use of sophomore forward Jared Sullinger, junior forward Evan Ravenel made his second-career start for Ohio State (8-1) in the prominent big man’s place. The Kansas defense held him to nine points before he fouled out of the game with less than three minutes remaining.
Although sophomore guard Deshaun Thomas racked up 15 first-half points for OSU, he outscored the rest of his teammates combined in the first half, while Kansas held the Buckeyes to season-low shooting percentage (.387) and points scored (67) for the game. Thomas would score four points in the final frame, but senior guard William Buford stepped in for 17 second-half points, finishing with KU’s Robinson for the game’s lead with 21 points.
Johnson hit the first of his career-high five threes following a quick outlet from a Jeff Withey rebound and Kansas shot out to an early 9-2 lead. A three-point play by Robinson answered a three on OSU’s side of the floor to fuel the home team’s momentum. Kansas set quickly set the tone, shooting at a 75 percent clip compared to the Buckeyes’ 22 percent through the game’s first seven minutes.
After making his first career start on Tuesday, senior guard Conner Teahan came in off the bench to add five points to a 7-0 run that saw Kansas pick up its first double-digit advantage, 21-11, under the midway point of the first half.
In the meantime, the Kansas defense held Ohio State without a field goal for a 4:55 stretch until back-to-back threes from Thomas powered an 8-2 OSU run that cut the Jayhawk lead to five.
An offensive foul called against Buford ended the Buckeyes’ final threat of the opening frame. Kansas took a 35-29 lead into the break, the first halftime deficit of Ohio State’s season.
OSU came out shooting at a 50 percent clip, but couldn’t keep pace with a Jayhawk squad that started the second half at a foreboding 80 percent. Two early threes from Johnson and another from Releford shoved the KU lead back to 10, 47-37, with 15 minutes to play.
Attempting just his second three-pointer of the year, Young nailed it to put the third Jayhawk in double figures. Taylor matched his effort with a runner through the paint and Kansas kept the distance at 59-48 with less than nine minutes remaining.
The country’s No. 2-ranked team would come on strong after Kansas tied its biggest lead of the day, 62-50, with an 8-2 run that prompted a 30-second timeout from the Kansas bench. Out of the pause, Releford dropped four-straight points to give Kansas breathing room heading into the final media timeout, 68-61.
Robinson’s sharp move to the basket resulted in the three-point play that fouled Ravenel out of the game, but provided another spark for the Buckeyes. Although Robinson would convert another and-one play less than a minute later, Ohio State’s Buford immediately answered with a three-point basket, cutting the lead to six, 73-67, in the final two minutes. Free throws from Robinson, Taylor and Releford would complete the upset for a 78-67 win.
No. 13 Kansas takes a break from game action for final exams. The Jayhawks will play Davidson in the M&I Kansas City Shootout at Sprint Center in Kanas City, Mo, on Monday. Dec. 19 at 8 p.m., on ESPN.