Commanding Second Half Leads No. 3 Kansas Past Texas, 76-67
LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 3 Kansas rallied from a 12-point first-half deficit to defeat Texas, 76-67, on Saturday afternoon to mark KU’s 200th victory in Allen Fieldhouse through 209 home-court games under Bill Self.
“The building is unreal,” Self said of Allen Fieldhouse after the game. “I knew that this would be a tough one. Texas came in playing with house money so to speak, coming off a big win this week earlier against West Virginia. We handled their pressure pretty well. We did a lot of good things, a lot of things we can still improve on. It’s great, there’s a lot of great places out there to play, there’s none better than this one.”
The Jayhawks (16-3, 5-2 Big 12) trailed by 12 at the 13:32 mark of the first half and went into halftime trailing by five, 35-30. Senior forward Perry Ellis scored 26 points, including 19 second-half points, to help outscore the Longhorns in the second half, 46-32.
Junior guard Wayne Selden Jr., made 4-of-8 shots from 3-point range to finish with 19 points in 37 minutes. Junior forward Landen Lucas made his first start of the season and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds in 23 minutes.
Four of the eight Jayhawks who registered minutes on Saturday accounted for 95 percent of the team’s points – Ellis (26 points), Selden (19), Devonte’ Graham (14), and Frank Mason III (13).
KU outrebounded UT, 39 to 31, and scored 19 second-chance points from 13 offensive rebounds. The Jayhawks made its first 13 attempts at the free throw line and finished the day 16-for-18 from the charity stripe.
Under first-year head coach Shaka Smart, Texas falls to 12-7 and 4-3 in Big 12 play. Texas center Prince Ibeh’s seven blocks is the most against KU since Kentucky’s Anthony Davis had seven on Nov. 15, 2011. Six-foot-10 forward Connor Lammert made a career-high five 3-pointers for a team-high 15 points for UT.
Texas shot 52 percent in the first half behind, led by three 3-pointers from Lammert, to give Kansas its fourth halftime deficit in the last seven games, 35-30.
Kansas used an 18-4 run to take its first lead of the game and gain control of the second half. Selden started the run by draining spot-up 3-pointer in the right corner off a skip pass from Graham to tie the game at 42. Graham finished with a team-high six assists. On the next possession, Ellis drove the baseline and spun around to the lane for a hook shot which gave Kansas its first lead of the game, 44-42, with 12:31 remaining.
The Jayhawks went on to lead by as many as 13 points without surrendering the lead for the remainder of the game.
It is the fourth time this season KU has overcome a deficit of 10 points or more in victory.
The Jayhawks have now won 34-straight games in Allen Fieldhouse.
Kansas has a quick turnaround before facing Iowa State on ESPN Big Monday from Ames on Jan. 25 (8 p.m., ESPN). On Jan. 30, ESPN College GameDay returns to Allen Fieldhouse for the seventh time in advance of next week’s Big 12/SEC Challenge between the two winningest programs in college basketball history – Kansas and Kentucky next Saturday (6 p.m., ESPN).
KU STARTERS (SEASON/CAREER STARTS)
Jr. G Frank Mason III (19/58)
So. G Devonte’ Graham (18/18)
Jr. G Wayne Selden Jr. (19/90)
Sr. F Perry Ellis (19/90)
Jr. F Landen Lucas (1/15)
• Kansas now leads the all-time series 26-8, including a 14-1 record in games played in Lawrence, 12-1 in Allen Fieldhouse
• KU has won nine of the last 10 meetings and 12 of the last 14 matchups
ATTENDANCE: 16,300 (237th-consecutive sellout)
• Gave KU head coach Bill Self his 200th win in Allen Fieldhouse and a 200-9 record in the building.
• Made KU 56-9 following a loss in the Bill Self era, including a 32-6 record following a conference loss.
• Gave Kansas its 34th-straight win in Allen Fieldhouse, marking the fourth-longest home court winning streak in school history.
• Made KU 738-109 all-time in Allen Fieldhouse.
• Made Self 368-81 while at Kansas, 575-186 for his career and 16-8 all-time versus UT (16-6 while at Kansas).
• Made KU 2,169-834 all-time.
• The game marked the third time this season in which the Jayhawks trailed by 10 or more points and came back to win (Vanderbilt – 11/15, Oregon State – 12/12).
• After shooting 2-of-13 from the field over the first 7:57 of the game, KU shot 23-of-49 (47 percent) the rest of the game and outscored UT 67-48.
• After hitting just 11 threes and shooting 26.2 percent (11-of-42) beyond the arc in its previous two outings, KU connected on 10 threes against the Longhorns with a 40 percent (10-of-25) clip, which included 6-of-12 from three-point range in the second half.
• KU’s 12-point deficit at the 11:45 mark of the first half was its largest deficit inside Allen Fieldhouse this season.
• Kansas’ 25 three-point attempts against UT marked the most by a KU squad in a conference game since it also notched 25 three-point attempts against Iowa State on Feb. 25, 2013.
• The Longhorns outshot Kansas 48.2 percent to 40.3 percent, marking only the third time this season the Jayhawks have been outshot. It was the first time KU won a game this season in which it has been outshot from the field.
• After converting on just 60 percent (39-of-65) of its free throw attempts in its previous three outings, the Jayhawks went 16-of-18 (88.9 percent) from the free throw line, marking the fourth game this season Kansas has shot 87.5 percent or better from the charity stripe.
• Kansas’ four points from the bench were a season low and the fewest by a Jayhawk bench since KU saw no bench points in the 2012 NCAA Championship game against Kentucky (4/2/12).
• Six players entered the score sheet for the Jayhawks, their fewest since only six scored at West Virginia on Feb. 16, 2015.
• KU outscored Texas 19-5 in second-chance points. That +14 margin tied for the Jayhawks’ best of the season (+14 vs. Loyola, 12/1).
• The Jayhawks only saw three players come off the bench, their fewest of the season. The previous low was four players off the bench against Vanderbilt on Nov. 25.
KU’s 10-POINT DEFICITS OVERCOME
(Date // Opponent // Largest Deficit // Final Score)
Nov. 25 vs. Vanderbilt // -10 // W, 70-63
Dec. 12 vs. Oregon State // -14 // W, 82-67
Jan. 4 vs. OKLAHOMA // -10 // W 3OT, 109-106
Jan. 23 vs. TEXAS // -12 // W, 76-67
Senior F Perry Ellis
• Posted a game-high 26 points on 9-of-15 shooting (60 percent), which marked the fifth game in his career and second this season he has scored 25 or more points.
Junior G Frank Mason III
• Played 39 of the game’s 40 minutes, tying for the most of his career in a game that ended in regulation.
• Added 13 points, which marked his ninth-straight outing and 18th of the season in double figures.
Sophomore G Devonte’ Graham
• Tied a career high with three three-point field goals made.
• Now shooting 48 percent (12-of-25) from three-point range during conference play.
• Added a team-high six assists to go along with two turnovers. Graham is boasting an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.14 in his last five games.
Junior F Landen Lucas
• In his first start of season, grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds and posted double-digit rebounds for the second time this season (12 vs. Chaminade, Nov. 23).
Junior G Wayne Selden Jr.
• With his four three-pointers against UT, tied J.R. Giddens for 15th on the school’s all-time three-point field goals made chart with 137 career threes.
• Texas center Prince Ibeh tallied seven blocks, the most by a KU opponent since Kentucky’s Anthony Davis also tallied seven rejections on Nov. 5, 2011.
“We started off awful. It seemed like they were scoring a ton of points but the fact of the matter is they had only 20 points with eight minutes left in the (first) half, so it was more our offense than our defense. We were so geeked up to play and so excited, we were too anxious. Wayne (Selden) and Devonte’ (Graham) were too anxious. Then once we tied it and we didn’t play well to end the half, the second half was some of the better ball we’ve played. They’re really good and so athletic and they’ve got a true rim protector. They can do a lot of good things. I thought we did a great job defensively in the second half. They still shot a good percentage, but for the most part we locked them up pretty well and we got some very timely shooting down the stretch.”
On Selden overcoming a slow start:
“Wayne played great, if you look at the overall game. He got off to a bad start. Devonte’, you look at his overall game, he’s fabulous, and he got off to a bad start. Frank (Mason) was aggressive and did some good things. Landen played great. He got six offensive rebounds, kept possessions alive and did a good job defensively on their big fella. Our bench didn’t play much. I shortened our bench. I thought this was the biggest game of the year from a momentum standpoint. It’s a game we had to have today and I felt we were much better playing less guys. We didn’t play many guys at all but we talked about this and this is how we want to do it. Our starters really came through for us. I didn’t mention our best player today, Perry (Ellis). They couldn’t guard him and he was aggressive.”
On his 200th victory at Allen Fieldhouse:
“The building is unreal. This is a special place and certainly we’ve labored of late. The league has a lot to do with teams laboring because the league is so good. I knew that this would be a tough one. Texas came in playing with house money so to speak, coming off a big win this week earlier against West Virginia. We handled their pressure pretty well. We did a lot of good things, a lot of things we can still improve on. It’s great, there’s a lot of great places out there to play, there’s none better than this one. We just need to go play well in Ames, Iowa and set up a pretty enthusiastic day next Saturday.”
On John Hadl’s recognition:
“He’s probably as much of a Jayhawk as anybody’s ever been. Growing up in Lawrence and playing ball here and then coming back and working at the school for I guess since 1980 in some capacity for the most part. That’s about 35 years, he’s given his heart and soul to this place. I think it’s very fitting that we recognize him because he is one of the most underappreciated guys from a recognition standpoint there is. He is an eyelash away from being in the NFL Hall of Fame. And to think he never even threw a pass until he was a senior in college. Then he sets all those records throwing the ball in the NFL. He’s the best guy around and certainly any recognition he gets is well-deserved.”
Senior F Perry Ellis
On changing his approach to game situations:
“I’ve tried to motivate teammates whenever I can. I went up to Frank a lot to say ‘keep attacking.’ It’s what is going to be good for the team, so I’ve definitely been trying to speak up on things that I think we can do well.”
On how the team stayed focused in the first half, while chipping away at the Texas lead:
“I don’t think we ever get that mindset. The key thing was just getting those stops. We were playing too fast and getting sped up, and that affected us. So we slowed down, and let the game come to us and good things started happening.”
On if you agree with Coach Self that this was a big game from a momentum standpoint:
“Definitely. Coming off the loss, just trying to get our feel back. It was definitely a big win.”
On what a 200-9 record for Coach Self in Allen Fieldhouse means:
“It’s unbelievable. The way he coaches, it just shows that he knows what he’s doing.”
On how you account for getting stronger as the game went on:
“We want to start well, obviously. I felt like we started getting comfortable – we were sped up at the beginning. That affected us.”
On what Coach Self said to the four co-captains yesterday:
“The thing was, we all have the most say on the team. We see everything with what’s going on on the court. We just wanted to speak on what we could do better, that was a key focus. And Coach told us what we needed to do, ‘just be yourself’ and good things will happen.”
Sophomore G Devonte’ Graham
On starting slow against Texas:
“Of course we didn’t want to get off to that kind of a start, but we knew we were going to come back the whole time. We just had to settle down, we were sped up at the beginning of the game. We were rushing and getting travels called on us, we weren’t doing our defensive assignments that we were supposed to. We just had to settle down and get comfortable.”
On the second half turnaround:
“We got stops. We mainly focused on defense on keeping Isaiah (Taylor) out of the lane. He can get in the lane anytime he wants to so our main focus was just being strong with help, getting stops and rebounding. Then the offense takes care of itself.”
On the importance of getting Perry Ellis the ball in space:
“It’s a big key to us being successful. Not too many big guys can guard him one-on-one out on the perimeter because he can use his quickness and blow by them. He can handle the ball, but he can also play inside-out. It’s tough on other teams.”
On Texas’ energy to start the game:
“They came out with more energy. Like I said, we calmed down and started making shots. We weren’t making shots early either. They did come out with more energy to start the game.”
Junior F Landen Lucas
On grabbing 10 rebounds:
“When I talked to Coach yesterday and he let me know I was starting today he really just told me to focus on a couple of things; on defense, just guarding inside and getting defensive rebounds. On offense getting angles when I can, but screening and going after every single rebound and trying to create extra possessions. The scoring wasn’t there today, but I just try to create as many extra possessions for our team as possible.”
On his performance of just posting 10 rebounds and no other stats:
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a line like that. At the end of the day we have so many scorers around me and we have some of the best shooters coming off of the bench. However I can help the team, I’ll do it. If it’s just rebounding in a game like today, that’s what I’ll do.”
On starting against Texas:
“Coach Self has been trying different things out. Yesterday he came up to me and made it simple. He said, here’s the things you can do to help our team win. Just go out there and do them. That will help the team be successful. He made it easy, I went out there and concentrated on those things. I feel like there’s a lot of room to grow, but it’s a good start.”
On what Bill Self told him prior to the game:
“Rebound, Rebound and rebound. Play defense and set screens. We have so much talent that if I can go out there and get them open and do different things to help the team and help them score, there will be games where I’ll be able to score, but really (my job) just help them do that and go after every single ball. The big thing is creating extra possessions. That will help the team out. That’s what he wanted me to focus on, so I tried to do that.”
Texas Head Coach Shaka Smart
On what he saw during Kansas’ big run that he didn’t like:
“It was a combination of two things…actually three things. First when you come in here and play in this unbelievable atmosphere you know that a run is coming and the crowd is going to be behind the team and that’s going to give them a level of energy and momentum. So that’s the first thing. The second thing is we missed some pretty easy shots that I think we normally would make, but they didn’t go in. On a few other possessions we didn’t execute great and didn’t get great shots. Then the third thing is, Kansas made some great plays and I think you have to give those guys credit. Perry Ellis had a terrific game. I thought their guards including Selden were very aggressive. Obviously making 10 threes is a problem. I thought defensively we were just about a half-step off in the second half compared to the way we were in the first half. That allowed them some opportunities. It’s not just about our defense, it’s about their guys making some really good plays. They put you in a bind with a lot of the stuff they do.”
On what happened to junior forward Shaquille Cleare:
“He injured his shoulder. He banged it, and kind of tweaked his shoulder. He wanted to come back and play but our athletic trainer didn’t feel like he could go.”
On coming out hot:
“We just wanted to come out and start the game well. Certainly on the road in a tough atmosphere you want to make sure that you play with a level of energy and intensity and you make the other team work for anything they get on their offensive end. I thought our guys started off the game really, really well – with good energy and good togetherness. But again, you know Kansas is going to make a run, you know they’re going to fight back. In the second half, we didn’t have the same connectivity that we needed to have. Again, Kansas had a lot to do with that.”
On fatigue weighing into the games at this point in the season:
“I think it depends on the team, and I think it depends on the individuals on each team. I mean you’ve got guys on both teams playing heavy minutes. With us, we were down a guy (Cameron Ridley) going into the game, a pretty important one. Then we lost another one (Shaquille Cleare) so that impacted our minutes. But again look at Kansas, their starters played a ton as well. These guys are great athletes. They’re trained at a high level to play this way, but they are human beings and they do get impacted by fatigue and external stressors. They have other things that they have to deal with beyond just playing a game. I give a lot of credit to the guys on Kansas’ team because you (have guys playing) 35 minutes, 39 minutes, 37 minutes, 37 minutes. Those guys were stronger in the last 10 minutes than they were earlier.”
On the energy level affecting Texas’ play in the second half:
“It’s amazing how much the mind can impact the body. We’re always capable of doing more than our body thinks. But it’s the way your mind handles it. And again, when you come on the road, that’s why not a lot of people come here and win. It’s a combination: great coaching, great players, great atmosphere and it’s not easy. I thought Kansas’ players did a great job. They had more energy in the second half than they did in the first and we had a little bit less.”
On other factors not including energy that impacted Texas’ start:
“Our guys did a good job just trying to follow our plan, playing with aggressiveness early. I think in games like this, you have to be the more aggressive team if you want any chance of winning. The one thing that impacts that is fouls. Sometimes when there are a lot of fouls called early in the first half or in a certain situation, it can impact your mind in terms of aggressiveness. If you want to be a high-level player, you’ve got to find a way to play through that and be an aggressive guy.”
On the low playing time of freshman guard Eric Davis Jr. in the second half:
“Wayne Selden was bombing three’s in his face. I love Eric and he’s a great player and he’s doing a lot of terrific things for us. But he has to continue to get better in terms of his urgency. He knows that. He’s a really important guy for us. He’s still going to play big minutes. In a game like today’s, you have to make the decision as a coach to whether you have the best lineup on the floor offensively and defensively. Kansas was making three’s and attacking us. I thought we were getting good looks, but missed some shots. We needed to stop them. You can’t give up 46 points in the second half in here and expect to win.”
On the challenge Kansas senior forward Perry Ellis presents:
“I think he’s terrific. I said it before the game, I don’t know why he doesn’t get more attention nationally. I know in the Big 12 he’s been a guy that’s been highly thought of for a long time, but he deserves to be talked about just like some of these other guys. (He) May be an All-American or National Player of the Year candidate because he is hard to deal with. The thing I was most worried about was the most simple thing they do, which was a high pick and pop. The guards are good so you have to give them attention and if you don’t they’ll turn the corner and lay it up. But when you do, they throw it back to him (Ellis) and now he has some space and no matter how we guarded it, Kansas had an answer.”
On the lessons learned from holding the lead for a decent period of time:
“Best teams have a high level of toughness and we have made some progress with that. But obviously we have a way to go. I think it’s a good sign we were able to hang in there and battle back when they tried to punch back. But at the end of the day, we weren’t good enough, particularly on the defensive end, to battle back when it mattered most.”
Texas Senior C Prince Ibeh
On his overall performance:
“I think I did pretty well. We could do some things better here and there. A lot of fatigue in there. I played some more minutes than normal and think I played effective.”
On their upcoming game against TCU:
“We’ll prepare the same way we do every day. We had a good chance to win this game, but we learned some things out there and we just have to go into the next opponent with the same intentions.
On playing in Allen Fieldhouse:
“It’s always a great crowd. The fans do a good job of making this a tough place to play.”
Texas Senior F Connor Lammert
On his performance today:
“I didn’t rebound well and gave up a lot of rebounds and got into foul trouble. The offense was there but I think I should have done a lot more to help the team win.”
On Texas’ performance:
“I think we played a good game for most of the game but it wasn’t completed. We didn’t stay aggressive for 40 minutes on both ends of the floor, but we’re going to see them again. It’s unfortunate to not get a win here because I think if you’re in the Big 12 it’s one of your goals to win here, but we’ll see them at home at the end of the season and maybe in the Big 12 Tournament so we’re looking forward to that.”
On preparations to play Kansas again:
“We’ve obviously got to watch the tape but it’s our last Big 12 game so we’re definitely going to get a lot better between then and now.” ?
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