Kansas Uses Overtime to Take Latest Historic Bout with Kentucky, 90-84
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Wayne Selden Jr., delivered a career-high 33 points, carrying Kansas at times with individual scoring runs of eight and 10 points, as the Jayhawks edged Kentucky in an overtime battle of the top two collegiate programs in history, 90-84, at Allen Fieldhouse Saturday night. Selden scored KU’s last two field goals as the Jayhawks used a bevy of free throws – 26 in all – to dispatch the Wildcats in the Big 12/SEC Challenge on ESPN.
Playing on a court named after the sport’s creator James Naismith, with an exchange that saw the game’s original rules officially arrive in Lawrence, in a contest between two of the most storied and proficient programs – more than 4,300 combined victories – nothing less than an overtime classic would do.
No. 4 Kansas (17-4) was less than stellar filling the modern day version of Naismith’s peach baskets in the second half, sinking just four field goals over the last 15:33 of the contest, including just one in overtime, but used 21 free throws in that time span to overtake and dispatch No. 20 Kentucky (16-5). Selden, whose previous career-high was 25 points, tallied nearly half of the Jayhawks’ made field goals and was responsible for more than one-third of KU’s points.
After the first 40 minutes of play ended in a 76-76 tie, Kentucky clanged misses on its first three free throws of the overtime period. Conversely, Selden drilled both attempts to open KU’s scoring in extra time and answered a Skal Labissiere jumper with a statement dunk off the Jayhawk weave. Kansas hit five free throws – two more from Selden – while pushing the lead to seven before Kentucky contributed its next points and was forced into its foul-and-pray defense.
Kansas pushed the lead to as many as nine before Ulis hit a three-pointer with four seconds left and the Jayhawks were able to run out the clock.
Selden was joined in double figure scoring by Frank Mason III (13), Devonte’ Graham (11) and Perry Ellis (10), who was limited to just six minutes in the first half after picking up two early fouls.
Kentucky’s Ulis scorched Kansas for 26 points, the majority of which came in the opening period as the Wildcats shot 63.0 percent from the field and forced the Jayhawks to switch from its usual man-to-man defense into a diamond and one zone, while shadowing the UK sharpshooter. The move seemed to flummox Ulis and his mates with Kentucky shooting 44.8 percent after the half, including a 4:34 scoring drought that saw Kansas climb from down six with just over nine minutes to play to its first lead of the second stanza with nearly four and a half minutes to go.
Jamal Murray (15), Alex Poythress (13) and Isaiah Briscoe (12) all reached double figures for the Wildcats. Ulis also dished out eight assists.
Kentucky head coach John Calipari is no stranger to the challenge and atmosphere of Allen Fieldhouse, having coached as an assistant at KU from 1982-85, and looked at his assistants and grinned ear to ear when the crowd reached a deafening peak before tipoff.
There were early flares of contention, including a light shove from Isaiah Briscoe to Landon Lucas as KU’s big man blocked his shot. Both players ended up with free throws after a video review, but Kansas walked away with the ball as a technical foul was charged.
Unlike the end of the game, when the Jayhawks seemingly couldn’t get off the free throw line, it was Kansas drawing the whistles at an average of one per minute in the first six minutes of the contest. Both Lucas and Ellis went to the bench before the second media timeout and the two frontcourt starters combined for nine minutes in the first half.
Still, Kansas trailed only by three before the first outburst from Selden – four straight buckets – gave the Jayhawks a momentary lead at 16-15 with 12:18 to play. As much as Selden could push, Kentucky seemed to always have an answer, first with Murray and then with Ulis – who went 10 minutes between his first and second buckets, but still finished the first half with 14 points.
By the time the score got to 23-23 there had been eight lead changes.
Kansas took its largest lead of the first half on a long jumper by Cheick Diallo, one of numerous long jumpers hit by the Kansas big men in the first 20 minutes, but that lead evaporated by the three-minute mark and Kentucky closed the half on an 8-2 run to go into the locker room up 46-40.
In the second half, Kentucky extended its lead to eight on a jumper by Ulis and fended off several Jayhawk surges while keeping the lead the same with less than 14 minutes to play. That’s when Selden picked up the Hawks again, delivering 10 straight points, including threes on back to back trips down the floor to pull within 61-59 with 10:33 to play.
The whistles began to pile up for the Wildcats in the second half and four players would eventually foul out in the contest. Kansas took advantage of the UK dry spell and despite not being able to knock down field goals – or free throws at a high rate (52.6 percent in the second half) – chipped in seven straight free throws, including a pair by Perry Ellis to give Kansas its first lead of the half with under five minutes to play.
Tied at 72-72 with a little less than a minute and a half to play, both teams had multiple opportunities to pull ahead in the waning seconds, most notably a half-court heave from Mason that bounced off the back iron as time expired.
Kansas jumps right back into Big 12 Conference play when it welcomes Kansas State to Allen Fieldhouse for the Lawrence installment of the Sunflower Showdown presented by Dillons. That game will be broadcast nationwide on ESPN2 with tip scheduled for 8 p.m.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.
KU STARTERS (SEASON/CAREER STARTS):
Jr. G Frank Mason III (21/60)
So. G Devonte’ Graham (20/20)
Jr. G Wayne Selden Jr. (21/92)
Sr. F Perry Ellis (21/92)
Jr. F Landon Lucas (3/17)
• Kansas now trails the all-time series to Kentucky, 22-7.
• The Jayhawks have won four-straight meetings with the Wildcats inside Allen Fieldhouse.
ATTENDANCE: 16,300 (238th-consecutive sellout)
• Ended Kentucky’s three-game series winning streak against Kansas and made the series 22-7 in favor of UK.
• Marked KU’s 18th-consecutive non-conference win over a member of a Big Six Conference (ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC and Big East) inside Allen Fieldhouse. Kansas’ last loss against a Big Six non-conference foe on its home floor was to Arizona (91-74) on Jan. 25, 2003.
• Extended Kansas’ winning streak in Allen Fieldhouse to 35 games
• Made Kansas 11-0 in Allen Fieldhouse this season, 739-109 all-time in the venue, including 201-9 under Bill Self.
• Made Self 369-78 while at Kansas, 576-187 all-time and 4-4 versus Kentucky (4-3 while at Kansas.
• Made KU 2,170-835 all-time.
• The overtime game marked the first time since 2004-05 that Allen Fieldhouse has seen two overtime games in a single season. That year Kansas beat Georgia Tech 70-68 and fell to Iowa State, 61-63, both in overtime. This season Kansas topped the Oklahoma Sooners in triple OT, 109-106, on Jan. 4.
• Since the 2006-07 season, KU’s record in overtime games under Bill Self is now 14-3. Kansas has now won four-consecutive games that have gone to overtime.
• The Jayhawks pulled down 42 rebounds to Kentucky’s 31, marking the 16th game this season Kansas has outrebounded its opponent.
• After the Jayhawks posted 11 turnovers in the first half, Kansas turned it over just four times in the second frame and overtime combined.
• The game marked the eighth time this year Kansas has scored 90 or more points. The last time a KU team posted eight or more 90-point outings in a season was 2010-11.
• Kansas’ 47 free throw attempts were the most since the Jayhawks shot 52 free throws against Niagara on Jan. 9, 1997. KU’s 30 made free throws were its most this year.
• Wayne Selden Jr.’s dunk with 3:11 remaining in overtime was Kansas’ lone field goal in the extra period.
• The Jayhawks connected on 12-of-16 free throws (75 percent) in overtime after shooting 18-of-31 (58.1 percent) from the charity stripe over the first 40 minutes.
• Kansas connected on 8-of-17 three pointers (47.1 percent), the 12th time this year KU has tallied eight or more threes in a game and the eighth time this season the Jayhawks have shot 45 percent of better from beyond the arc.
Freshman F Carlton Bragg Jr.
• Tied a career high with six points. All of his six points came on 3-of-4 shooting in nine first-half minutes.
Senior F Perry Ellis
• Scored 10 points to move past Bud Stallworth to 20th on KU’s all-time scoring list with 1,500 career points.
• Played in limited minutes due to foul trouble; recorded two fouls by the 14:07 mark of the first half.
Sophomore G Devonte’ Graham
• Tallied five assists to just one turnover. He now has an assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.6 in non-conference games this season.
Junior G Brannen Greene
• Connected on at least one shot from 3-point range for the sixth time in his last eight outings. In that span he is shooting 50 percent (9-of-18) from beyond the three-point arc.
Junior F Landen Lucas
• Made third consecutive start.
Junior G Frank Mason III
• Posted his 11th-straight game scoring in double figures with 10 points in 42 minutes.
• Grabbed eight rebounds to mark the sixth time in the last eight outings he has pulled down six rebounds or more.
Junior G Wayne Selden Jr.
• Posted a game-, season- and career-high 33 points on 12-of-20 shooting. Selden’s 33 points marked the most by a Jayhawk in a single game since Perry Ellis scored 30 points against Iowa State in the 2014 Big 12 Championship semifinals on March 14, 2014.
• Selden’s 33 points also marked the most scored by a KU junior since Marcus Morris also posted 33 points at Iowa State on Jan. 12, 2011.
• With a one-handed dunk with 3:11 remaining in overtime, Selden hit 1,000 points for his career, making him the 57th Jayhawk to eclipse the 1,000-point milestone.
• His 3-pointer with 51 seconds remaining in regulation gave him 26 points to pass his previous career high of 25 points which occurred twice – against Iowa State (3/14/15) and Vanderbilt (11/25/15).
• Recorded at least 20 points for the fifth time this season and 12th time of his career.
• Shot 60 percent (12-of-20) from the field, the eighth time the junior was shot 50 percent of better this season when posting a minimum of 10 attempts.
• Also shot 3-of-5 from three-point range, marking his 12th game this season with three or more three pointers.
• Kentucky’s 46 first-half points were the most by a Jayhawk opponent in a half this season.
• Kentucky’s 63 percent (17-of-27) from the field in the first half marked the second-straight half KU allowed an opponent to shoot 60 percent of better from the field. Iowa State shot 64.3 percent (18-of-28) in the second half on Jan. 25.
• After Kentucky went 4-of-10 from three-point range in the first half, the Wildcats were held to 1-of-13 (7.8 percent) in the second half and overtime.
• Sophomore G Tyler Ulis’ 26 points marked the fifth time this season a KU opponent has eclipsed 25 points in a game, and the third time in Allen Fieldhouse.
“We didn’t play well at all. We need (senior forward) Perry (Ellis) in the game and he only played five or six minutes in the first half. (Freshman forward) Cheick (Diallo) and (freshman forward) Carlton (Bragg Jr.) bailed us out and did a great job. We were up six and then just played awful down the last three minutes of the first half. We came out the second half and didn’t guard them well early. Fortunately for us, they played through foul problems, a lot of them. (Junior forward Derek Willis) got in foul trouble, so we could go combo and the guys did a pretty good job in that. (Sophomore Guard Tyler) Ulis is fantastic, (freshman guard Jamal) Murray is fantastic and (senior forward Alex) Poythress played his butt off. I thought that (freshman guard Isaiah) Briscoe dominated the game, getting anywhere he wanted to go and so strong. They shot such a great percentage, but we actually defended better and rebounded the heck out of the ball tonight. We made some great plays. We missed all our free throws it seemed like, and then Wayne (junior guard Selden Jr.) put us on his back. Wayne was unreal.”
On Wayne Selden Jr.’s performance:
“His grandfather doesn’t fly, he drove 20 hours to get here to watch his first game to see (Selden) play today. So he left on Thursday. He told me this afternoon, ‘He better play good, I came a long way to watch this.’ I think grandpa got his money’s worth.”
On limiting Kentucky’s offensive rebounds:
“We were great on the glass considering it was makeshift lineups out there a lot. We did a good job on the glass. They had one offensive rebound the first half, but they shot 63 percent, so that’s misleading. We had 11 turnovers, so that’s misleading. It looked like we did a better job than we did. To play the last 25 minutes when we’re just trying to grind it out and we played through foul trouble – and to only have four turnovers the last 25 minutes and only give up four or five offensive rebounds – is a pretty good job.”
On Perry Ellis’ free throw shooting:
“He missed the first one (of the last two in regulation). It was like the technical.”
On ever seeing a player air ball a technical free throw:
“Not when you can pick the shooter. To be honest it was not only short, it was way left. He did it one other time when he got hit in the head a couple years ago and was dizzy. He showed some courage to make the second one but I wonder if that kind of got into his head a little bit. He didn’t have a great game, but he battled. Probably the biggest offensive play we had in the game was his unbelievable offensive rebound and the pitch to Frank (junior guard Frank Mason III) for the three that put us up two or three. That was a lot of fun out there.”
On the Big 12/SEC Challenge:
“I don’t know how the standings are, but all the games have been competitive without question. Personally, and I’ve told our players this, this means more to our fans than it does to us. Although, getting hammered like we did last year, we needed to be able to come back and get a win against a quality team that hammered us by 30 last year. The reality of it is, this is just a small step to get us positive momentum to go back to what is really important, which is conference play. Everybody’s goal is to win their league and certainly this is a nice feather in our cap, we got a win, it’s a resume gain, all that stuff, but in the (big) picture it doesn’t mean a lot. It means a lot to kids and I know it means a lot to fans.”
On Wednesday’s game against Kansas State:
“K-State has had a great year. They’ve lost some close games in the league, but they’ve had a great year. They got a good win today, they beat Ole Miss. K-State is a rivalry game, and you can’t take games for granted. I know the crowd may never be like it was tonight as far as anticipation and all that stuff, but there’s no reason why we can’t have the same energy in the building on Wednesday as we had tonight.”
Junior G Frank Mason III
On switching defenses in the second half to contain Tyler Ulis:
“It helped us a lot. He had a couple of possessions where he got past me and made some good shots but we were in 41 on defense. That’s switching ball screens, switching one through four. He just made some plays on the big guys and other teammates, but I think we did a good job overall of just executing and sticking to the game plan.”
On his half-court shot at the end of regulation:
“When it left my hands I thought it had a great chance of making it, but it didn’t fall.”
On gaining confidence in the second half:
“We just wanted to stick to the game plan. Coach (Self) wanted us to execute on the offensive end. Guys were too passive and that’s when Wayne started to drive the ball downhill and that’s when positive things started to happen.”
Junior G Wayne Selden Jr.
On if previous experience during this season helped them prepare for a game like this:
“Yeah, I feel like we never really took a step back or got rattled. They were ahead most of the game but we all knew deep down that we were going to come back. It was all about just coming back, maintaining that lead and getting stops down the stretch.”
On if being battled-tested like in this game will help in the NCAA Tournament in March:
“It’s been a process for us for a couple years now. We have taken some shots, we have taken some hard losses and we have been battle-tested for a couple of years now, this season especially. I feel like this is going to make us better.”
On his amount of touches and how he was getting open:
“It was these two right here (Frank Mason III and Devonte’ Graham). They are hard to guard. If they beat their man, my man needs to help. These two are the reason why I have been playing well.”
On winning on a national stage:
“It’s good for us. We just have to get back out there and be aggressive and be a tougher team than we have been the past few games. This is step in the right direction.”
On finding the energy to make plays in overtime:
“We’ve played games longer than that this year. It’s just playing basketball. It’s what we love to do. These guys (Mason and Graham) make it easy for me when they drive the ball.”
On getting back to how he played in Korea:
“Just being aggressive. I feel like I had a little more incentive in my head before the game started. Just thinking about the past a little bit, more so just how we’ve been — we’ve been flat. Just coming out and trying to be more aggressive and be more enthusiastic.”
On his final dunk:
“I went in a few times and it didn’t work out. They were blocking it, so I had to try something different.”
Sophomore G Devonte’ Graham
On what he thought on Wayne Selden’s dunk:
“It was a big momentum swing, he was going in there a couple of times and was getting his shot blocked, so he decided to go over on somebody’s head that time and just brought energy in the building and helped us out.”
On what he learned about Selden tonight:
“He’s a soldier, but we’ve know that. We’ve known that he could have games like this. Tonight was the perfect time for him to have a breakout game. Hopefully we just build off of it and keep moving forward.”
Kentucky head coach John Calipari
On Tyler Ulis’ play and the outcome of the game:
“We had our chances in regulation and they got two offensive rebounds. What I told them after is, ‘I have to do a better job of teaching these kids how to win.’ They do not know how to win a game, but that’s my job, that’s why they want me coaching them. We were playing (Wayne) Selden no-catch. ‘What?’ no-catch and you left him open. If you’re watching the game and you’re playing there is no reason that you’re leaving the guy that’s killing you. You just say, ‘No catch,’ which is what we said and the kid gets three shots off. We switched off, it was just amazing. (But) the kid (Wayne Selden Jr.) had to make them and he did. Offensively they were stuck again. I liked what Skal (Labissiere) did, but again, we have to rebound the ball. They got two offensive rebounds and we had two one-handed rebounds all in the last three minutes of regulation. One was an offensive rebound that if we grab it with two hands and stick it in I think we win the game. That’s what winning players know, ‘I’m not taking a chance, I’m grabbing this thing with two hands.’ That’s something we talk about. This is what my job is. Those kids gave everything they could, they fought like heck. They came into this building expecting to win and we basically changed how we played. We opened up the court and said we were going to try to beat them on the dribble. We still, when the game is in the guts of the game, we are just learning now what it means to play and the plays you must make and the plays just as importantly that you don’t make. Not at winning time. This is a young team, hats off to Kansas, I thought they played well. They had chances to let go of the rope and there was no way, they fought. The play with Tyler (Ulis) rebounded that ball with two hands and got knocked over and they kick it out for a three was a big play, but he had to make it. He had to make that shot. It was a tie game with us having the ball and it maybe would’ve been different. They made those plays. It was a heck of a college game.”
On KU’s defensive effort on Tyler Ulis in the second half:
“We were running a baseline runner and the issue becomes the guys at the top didn’t want to shoot the ball. That’s why I put Skal (Labissiere) up there and that’s the elbow-jumper Skal got and made twice. Alex (Poythress) wouldn’t, Alex was 32-feet out. I’m like, ‘Move in and shoot the ball,’ and he missed it so badly it was demoralizing. I told him, ‘You have to do it with confidence. Shoot that ball.’ I probably shouldn’t have played Dom (Dominique Hawkins) today. He hadn’t played in a month and I put him in this game to make shots. That’s on me, that’s not on Dom. Poor kid, I feel bad. He had wide-open looks and he’s been shooting well, but he has had a high-ankle sprain and hasn’t played. That’s why we put Skal (Labissiere) in, Skal did what he was supposed to. I was hoping Alex (Poythress) could do that because that’s the shot that’s there against that (defense). Or you drive right down the middle.”
On being encouraged on playing Kansas close in Allen Fieldhouse:
“I’m still hacked-off to be honest. When you have a chance to win like we did and you choke it. Every play is a winning play. It’s not just about missing free throws, okay we missed. I showed them a tape this week of teams down nine points – Virginia – I showed them that game with Wake Forest. You’re never out of it. Just keep playing. It’s all part of the growth of this team and stuff that I have to do. I have a lot of work to do, I really do. A lot of work to do. We were relying on one guy and you can’t play that way. I couldn’t get him (Tyler Ulis) a break. I was going to take him out, but the game was so close he said, ‘Leave me in.’ Derek (Willis) getting in foul trouble really affected us. I would say if you’re watching the game you would say it’s a heck of a game. I’m sick to my stomach.”
On Kentucky’s defense on Perry Ellis:
“We were playing off of a couple guys. The problem then is Carlton Bragg went in and you say that you have to play him, but we played off of him. He made three jumpers and we’re like, ‘Guys, you play him like you play Perry Ellis. You have to play,’ Perry is a terrific player. This ended up being a guard-game more than anything else, which kind of neutralized everything else.”
On the atmosphere in Allen Fieldhouse:
“I love this place. I love this place. If you’re a college student in the Midwest, or really anywhere, this is a college campus and college life, student life and then the pride they take in this basketball program – Bill (Self) has taken it to another level, but it’s always been here. That’s the first time I’ve coached in here. There’s two things. Have Kansas fans ever rushed the court in this building? (Once in the Roy Williams era) At Kentucky, if we beat the Lakers at the buzzer on a half-court banker, they would never. These fans are the same. I go a lot of places and the respect like our fans. We lost to Texas A&M and a kid had 41 points. Our fans gave him a standing-ovation when he left the building. We lost and he got a standing ovation. That’s how these fans are. How they treated all of our fans, but the normal, ‘Hey we’re glad you’re here, but you’re going to lose.’ It’s what this is about. They’re not in here drunk. It’s just a great environment to coach in and to play in. Kentucky is very similar the way things are done there.”
On Isaiah Briscoe’s performance:
“He missed some free throws, but he played pretty well. He cramped up. I was playing guys too many minutes. I put two guys in and they got four points on one guy and then I put another guy in and they got seven points on the other guy. It limited what we were able to go to on the bench.”
On Frank Mason III’s half-court heave to end regulation:
“I thought it was going in. I looked and I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ It was funny, I talked to a friend of mine who is a big Kansas fan and he says, ‘I wish you well and I hope you lose by one.’ I said, ‘I hope we win on a half-court bank-shot by one.’ Then that thing (Mason’s shot) almost went in and I know he was up there saying, ‘He was up there saying, oh my gosh, he almost had it.'”
On Kentucky learning how to win:
“We are still doing the same things. It’s losing basketball. It’s Auburn all over again. At Auburn it was 15 minutes. Here, it was for about five minutes. There were five or six minutes of losing basketball. What we’ll do is you just go possession-by-possession and ask, ‘Is that losing or winning basketball?’ They have to say it’s losing. Then you go to the next possession, both offense and defense in the last six minutes of regulation and even some of the overtime. That’s my job to teach them how to win. They followed a game plan we had two days and we went to a different offense. We didn’t play this way all year. We went to a different way of playing and they responded to it. The young guys and even a couple of the veterans, we have to get them to understand the plays you have to make in this kind of a game.”
Kentucky sophomore guard Tyler Ulis
On Kentucky proving itself tonight and playing tough in Allen Fieldhouse:
“I feel we came out into their building, we fought hard and played hard the whole 40 minutes. We have to keep our heads up for that.”
On Kansas’ defense late in the game:
“I didn’t have many openings, forced a few things late, I should have given the ball up. That’s something we have to work on.”
On beating himself up despite his performance tonight:
“Those late turnovers weren’t needed, I should have just given the ball up late. Then I turned it over in regulation at the end and late in overtime, that’s not something I usually do.”
On his turnover at the end of regulation:
“It was a set play and we didn’t get into it, but that’s not the reason I turned it over.”
Kentucky senior forward Alex Poythress
On the team committing 33 fouls versus Kansas’ 20:
“We have to learn how to play without fouling, it’s something we’ve been struggling with all year. We have to learn how to keep our hands up. We can’t look for excuses or anything. We fouled when we shouldn’t have fouled and that probably cost us the game.”
On what Kentucky learned about its team tonight:
“We have some fighters, everyone that was playing was fighting. There is no such thing as moral victories, but there is no reason for us to hang our heads either. Everyone was out there fighting from top to bottom.”
On what made Kansas’ Wayne Selden Jr., so tough to guard:
“He hit shots, got to the rim, made free throws; he just had a great game.”
On Selden not showing Kentucky anything different than what they have seen on tape:
“We knew he could shoot. We knew he could shoot from the corner and off the dribble and pin downs, we just didn’t do a great job of guarding him. He had a great game.”
On w sophomore guard Tyler Ulis ,who had the opportunity to win the game for Kentucky:
“He has no reason to be down on himself. A lot of us are to blame going down the stretch. He’s not the reason we lost. It’s the team’s effort collectively. We just have to learn how to finish games out. We were close and had a chance to win it. We didn’t get two late rebounds down the stretch and we couldn’t execute at the end of regulation. It’s tough.”
On what he thought of the atmosphere:
“It was crazy – the loudest atmosphere I’ve ever been in.”
On drawing any comparisons between Kentucky’s team this year and the 2014 team:
“Yeah, I guess you could draw some comparisons but each year we’re a different team. We’ve just got to learn how to finish games out. That’s essentially it. We get in these close games, lose leads and let go of the rope. We can’t be doing that here on forward.”
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.