🏀 Agbaji’s Career High Leads No. 5 Kansas Past No. 13 Texas Tech in 2OT, 94-91
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Led by a career-high 37 points from Kansas senior Ochai Agbaji, the No. 7 Kansas Jayhawks defeated No. 13 Texas Tech Red Raiders 94-91 in a thrilling double-overtime contest inside Allen Fieldhouse on ESPN Big Monday.
Kansas improves to 17-2 (6-1 Big 12) this season, extending its streak to 38-straight wins on Big Monday games inside Allen Fieldhouse. Since the inception of the Big 12 Conference in 1996-97, Kansas is now 45-1 in Big Monday games played inside Allen Fieldhouse, including 34-0 under head coach Bill Self.
Agbaji’s 37 points mark a new career-high, surpassing his previous high of 29 points, and marking the most points scored since by a Jayhawk since Andrew Wiggins scored 41 against West Virginia on March 8, 2014. Agbaji was joined in double-figures by Christian Braun (15 pts.) and David McCormack (13 pts.), while Jalen Wilson led the way with 11 rebounds.
The first 20 minutes was an indication of the succeeding 30 minutes, which featured a back-and-forth affair with neither team allowing the other to get ahead. Kansas was able to lead by as many as nine in the first half after a pair of 3-pointers from Agbaji and Braun, followed by baskets from Agbaji and McCormack to make the score 30-21 with 4:31 remaining in the half.
With under a minute remaining in the first half, the Jayhawks pulled ahead by eight points on a Fastbreak lay-in from Braun, forcing a Texas Tech timeout at 36-28 with 55 seconds to go before the break. Texas Tech would score on a pair of free throws to make the score 36-30 going into halftime.
Out of the break, Texas Tech wasted no time cutting into the KU lead, scoring on its first six shots to cut the lead to 46-43 with 16:08 remaining. Just over midway through the second half, Kansas was able to draw its lead to 12 points at 66-54, its largest lead at the time, on a 3-pointer from the corner from Agbaji.
Trailing by 12 with 6:33 remaining, the Red Raiders came clawing back on a 6-0 run to draw within 6 points at 70-64 with 3:47 remaining. Over that span, the Jayhawks failed to score while committing three turnovers.
With just 2:38 to go in regulation, Texas Tech relied on their big man, Kevin Obanor for back-to-back buckets in the paint to trim the lead to 74-72 with 1:28 left in the game. Texas Tech’s Terrence Shannon Jr. was later sent to the line for a pair of free throws, which he converted to make the score 75-75 to send the game into overtime.
In overtime, Texas Tech went back to Williams, who scored Tech’s first five points. After an Obanor 3-pointer, Texas Tech extended its lead to 83-78 with 2:08 to go in overtime. After an acrobatic layup from Braun, the Jayhawks brought the score to 83-80 in favor of Texas Tech.
Trailing 86-83 with 23 seconds remaining, the Jayhawks got the ball to Agbaji who nailed a contested 3-pointer to send the game into its second overtime at 86-86.
The second overtime went the way of the Jayhawks, as Kansas relied on a pair of Braun free throws with just 11 seconds remaining to put KU up, 94-91. The Jayhawks then forced Shannon into a missed 3-point attempt to give Kansas the 94-91 victory.