Big Second Half Propels Arizona Past Jayhawks

Dec. 24, 2008

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TUCSON, Ariz. –

In its first true road game of the season, the Kansas men’s basketball team fell 84-67 at Arizona despite three Jayhawks with double digit points during the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.

KU dropped to 8-3 on the season following its loss in the McKale Center, while Arizona improved to 8-3 overall.

Junior Sherron Collins scored 13 of his game-high 16 points in the last 20 minutes. He was joined in double figures by Marcus Morris and Cole Aldrich, who contributed 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Markieff Morris led the Jayhawks with seven rebounds, his first time leading the team.

Kansas opened the game hitting five of its first six shots to take a 12-4 lead less than four minutes into the contest. However, the Jayhawks went scoreless over the next five minutes as Arizona edged its way back eventually taking over the lead, 12-13, with 12:28 remaining in the half.

Two possessions later, KU regained its lead on a Markieff Morris bucket followed by a three-pointer from sophomore Brady Morningstar to push Kansas ahead 17-13 with 11:01 left on the clock.

The Jayhawks stayed on top until Arizona’s Jordan Hill knotted the score at 35 with just 1:21 to play in the opening stanza. The Wildcats sent Markieff and Marcus Morris to the foul line in the final minute as the pair hit 3-of-4 from the charity stripe to give KU a 38-35 lead heading into the locker room.

Arizona’s leading scorer Chase Budinger, who averages just over 19 points per game, was held scoreless in the first 20 minutes and finished with just five points.

After KU scored the first six points to open the second half for a 44-35 lead, Arizona proceeded with a 20-3 run to make the score 55-47 in favor of the Wildcats. A pair of free throws from Taylor brought KU within 10 at 67-57 with 8:24 left to play but it was as close as the Jayhawks would get as Arizona continued to pull away and held onto the lead for the remainder of the game.

The Wildcats out-rebounded KU 20-13 in the second half for a 40-29 advantage for the game. Arizona also shot 46.0 percent from the field, compared to KU’s 40 percent, including 79.3 percent from the free throw line.

Kansas will take a week off before hosting Albany on Dec. 30 at 8 p.m. in Allen Fieldhouse. The game will be televised on ESPNU.