🏀 Jayhawk Defense Silences Stanford, 72-56
STANFORD, Calif. – A stout defensive effort along with some impressive outside shooting from senior Isaiah Moss helped No. 5 Kansas defeat the Stanford Cardinal, 72-56, Sunday afternoon inside Maples Pavilion. Moss was one of four Jayhawks to score in double figures, leading the way with 17 points, as KU held the Cardinal to 38 percent shooting from the field and forced 19 Stanford turnovers.
The win moved Kansas to 10-2 on the year, while Stanford dropped its second contest of the season, falling to 11-2 in 2019-20.
The Jayhawk defense was locked in from the opening tip. KU held the Cardinal scoreless over the opening eight minutes of the contest, and without a field goal over the opening 12 minutes of action. While Stanford began the game 0-of-14 from the field, the KU offense took advantage and jumped out to a 20-4 with 6:53 left to play in the half, with Ochai Agbaji netting seven points over the first eight minutes of action.
Once the Cardinal got the lid off the rim, they managed to fight their way back into the game over the waning minutes of the half. A 14-8 run over the final six minutes of the opening stanza saw Stanford cut the score to as close as six points. Moss sunk a 3-pointer, his first of the day, just before the halftime buzzer to get the Jayhawks’ lead back to double-digits, 28-18, as the two teams headed to the intermission.
Moss picked up where he left off in the first half, draining three more triples within five minutes after the restart. His hit shooting saw the Jayhawks’ lead go to 18 points, 42-24, forcing Stanford coach and former KU guard Jerod Haase into a timeout to try and halt the Jayhawk run.
Christian Braun also got into the long-range scoring trend after the freshman hit a pair of triples just over midway through the half to help his team keep the Cardinal at arm’s length.
From there, the Jayhawks cruised to the 72-56 victory, closing out the decade on a high note with its 302nd win over the last 10 years. KU finished the 2010s with a record of 302-68 record, good for an 81.6 winning percentage, the second-highest for a decade in program history.
Moss led the KU scoring effort for the second time this season, going 4-of-7 from beyond the arc en route to a 17-point outing. Devon Dotson and Agbaji each tallied 14-point days, with Dotson scoring 12 of his points in the second half. Marcus Garrett added 12 points to go along with 5 rebounds and four assists, while Udoka Azubuike posted a game-high 13 rebounds.
Kansas finished the game with a 47 percent clip from the field, which included a 58 percent mark in the second half. The Jayhawk defense held Stanford to just 38 percent shooting and its lowest point total of the season. Kansas has now held six of its 12 opponents to under 60 points this season.
Kansas will open Big 12 play when it hosts West Virginia on Saturday, Jan. 4 at Allen Fieldhouse. The game will be televised on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m. (CT).
Kansas is 12-5 all-time against West Virginia, including a 7-0 record in Allen Fieldhouse. The Jayhawks have won an incredible 28-consecutive conference openers, a streak which dates back to 1991-92.
.@imoss38 and @youngoch have a combined 12 points and the #KUbball defense is holding the Cardinal to just 15% shooting from the floor 🔒
Under four minutes on the first-half clock and the Jayhawks lead it, 20-11 pic.twitter.com/EiNyCSEZ0t
— Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) December 29, 2019