No. 2 Kansas Defeats San Diego State on the Road, 70-57
SAN DIEGO – Senior forward Perry Ellis scored 20 points as No. 2 Kansas defeated San Diego State, 70-57, on Tuesday night in front of a sold-out Viejas Arena.
Kansas (10-1) made eight 3-pointers, finished 10 of 11 from the free throw line and committed just nine turnovers to maintain a lead for the entire game during the first true road test of the season. San Diego State (7-6) was held to 37 percent shooting from the field against the Jayhawks – highest-ranked team to play on Steve Fisher Court since 2002.
“We played great early – probably even missed some offensive opportunities,” KU head coach Bill Self said. “The second half San Diego State was more aggressive in the first 10 minutes. But we needed to get punched in the mouth on the road and we did.”
Junior guard Frank Mason III scored 12 points while Wayne Selden Jr. and Devonte’ Graham had 10 points each for the 2nd-ranked Jayhawks. Senior forward Jamari Traylor came off the bench to grab a team-high six rebounds, including four on the offensive end.
Zylan Cheatham scored 12 points with eight rebounds and four assists to lead the Aztecs.
Freshman forward Cheick Diallo made 2 of 2 shots in the first half, including a fade-away 15-foot jumper that gave Kansas its largest lead of the opening half at 16 points, 37-21, with 4:02 until halftime.
Ellis and Graham reached double-figure points in the first half as KU went into halftime with a 39-27 lead. Ellis scored all 14 of his first-half points during the first 12 minutes of the game, including a pair of 3-pointers – the latter coming at the 8:52 mark of the first half to give the Jayhawks a commanding 26-13 lead.
San Diego State started the second half on a 6-2 run and went on to cut KU’s 12-point halftime lead to four points with 14:56 remaining, 43-39.
Selden stopped San Diego State’s momentum with a 3-pointer at the top of the key to lift Kansas to a 48-41 lead. The trey was Selden’s first bucket of the game after committing two fouls in just two minutes played in the first half.
Selden’s first bucket would also be the catalyst of a 17-4 Kansas run as the Jayhawks took control of its 10th win of the season. The junior guard scored all of his 10 points during KU’s game-clinching run.
The series between the Jayhawks and Aztecs is now tied, 2-2. Both teams hold road wins in the last two meetings of the series. San Diego State was the last team to win in Allen Fieldhouse with a 61-57 win on Jan. 5, 2014.
During the holiday break, Kansas will have seven days between its next game against UC Irvine on Dec. 29 (8 p.m., ESPNU) in Lawrence. The game against the Anteaters will mark the final game before Big 12 Conference play begins against Baylor on Jan. 2 (3 p.m., CBS) in Lawrence.
KU STARTERS (SEASON/CAREER STARTS):
Jr. G Frank Mason III (11/50)
So. G Devonte’ Graham (9/9)
Jr. G Wayne Selden Jr. (11/82)
Sr. FPerry Ellis(11/82)
Sr. FHunter Mickelson(4/29)
The series between Kansas and San Diego State is now tied, 2-2.
Tuesday marked the first game between the Jayhawks and Aztecs in San Diego since the series debut in 1978 – an 81-69 San Diego State victory.
The road team has won the last two meetings in the series. San Diego State was the last team to win in Allen Fieldhouse, 61-57, on Jan. 5, 2014.
Gives KU nine consecutive wins, which is the longest winning streak since the 2013-14 season, when KU won 18 in a row.
Gives KU its first true road win of the season (1-0) and a 5-1 record in games away from Allen Fieldhouse this season.
Ties the series with San Diego State, 2-2. Kansas is 26-8 all-time against current Mountain West Conference teams.
Improves Bill Self’s record to 362-79 (.821) while at Kansas and 569-184 (.756) all-time.
Gives KU an 83-38 (.686) road record under Bill Self.
Makes KU 2,163-832 (.722) all-time.
KU finished 10 of 11 (.909) from the free throw line for the team’s second-highest free throw percentage this season. It only trails KU’s 12 for 12 effort at the charity stripe against Holy Cross (12/9/15).
The Jayhawks shot 42.6 percent from the field, marking the lowest shooting percentage in a KU victory this season.
Kansas drained eight 3-pointers to San Diego State’s three. It is the fewest 3-pointers the Jayhawks have allowed this season.
Kansas guards combined for nine assists and just three turnovers.
KU’s nine turnovers are the second-fewest this season.
Kansas now averages 88.0 points per game with a 22.7 scoring margin.
Out of its 10 victories of the season, Kansas has won by 10 or more points in eight of those wins. Five of those wins have been by 30 points or more.
The Jayhawks hit 42.1 percent (8-of-19) of their 3-point attempts, marking the ninth consecutive game Kansas has shot 40 percent or better from behind the arc. KU has also now made seven or more three-pointers in nine of 11 games this season.
Senior F Perry Ellis
Finished with 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field in 35 minutes.
Third 20-point performance of the season and 16th of his career.
Made 2-of-3 3-point field goals for his second multi-trey game of the season.
Now has 1,324 career points to move into 28th on KU’s career scoring list, passing Walter Wesley (1964-66; 1,315)
Now has 677 career rebounds to move into 17th on KU’s career rebounding list, passing Paul Pierce (1996-98; 676) and Marcus Morris (2009-11; 676).
Sophomore G Devonte’ Graham
Scored 10 points of 4-of-10 shooting from the field with three assists and two steals.
Has seven double-figure scoring efforts in 11 games this season.
Junior G Brannen Greene
Came off the bench to grab a season-high four rebounds.
Scored four points on 1-of-3 shooting from 3-point range and 1-of-2 shooting at the free throw line.
His team-leading 3-point field goal percentage is now .706 (12 for 17).
Recorded his first block of the season.
Junior G Frank Mason III
Started the 50th game of his career at Kansas.
Reached double-figure points by halftime (10).
Finished with 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting with three assists and one steal in 30 minutes.
Averages 12.0 points per game against San Diego State. Was KU’s leading scorer in the last game against the Aztecs (1/5/14) with 14 points on 4-of-8 shooting in 25 minutes.
Junior G Wayne Selden Jr.
Committed two fouls by the 17:38 mark of the first half, forcing him to sit out most of the first half. Selden returned to play all 20 minutes of the second half.
Scored all of his 10 points on just five shots in the second half.
Went 3 for 3 at the free throw line.
Senior F Jamari Traylor
Came off the bench to lead KU with six rebounds, including four on the offensive end.
Went 4 for 4 at the free throw line.
Tied a career-high three steals for the third time. Traylor also recorded three steals against Iowa State (2/2/15) and Oklahoma State (2/7/15).