Armed Forces (instant) Classic, Hoosiers outlast Jayhawks in overtime

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HONOLULU – Senior guardFrank Mason III carried his team, and several defenders, while helping Kansas rally from a five-point deficit and force overtime, but a 3-point barrage, including two in the final two minutes of overtime, gave No. 11/12 Indiana enough distance to hold off No. 3/2 Kansas, 103-99, in the State Farm Armed Forces Classic inside the Stan Sheriff Center Friday night.

Mason scored the Jayhawks’ final 11 points of regulation, three times scoring a lay-up while being fouled to erase a multi-possession Hoosier advantage, and led all scorers with a career-best 30 points before fouling out in the waning minutes. Indiana’s James Blackmon Jr. and Curtis Jones each hit late threes to keep KU at arm’s length.

Mason’s first career 30-point effort was accompanied by 13-of-15 shooting at the free throw line, nine assists and seven rebounds. In total, five Jayhawks reached double-figure points with four fouling out.

Junior guard Devonte’ Graham scored 16 points, sophomore forward Carlton Bragg Jr. and junior guard Svi Mykhailiuk chipped in 12 apiece, and senior center Landen Lucas added 11.

Indiana’s Blackmon scored 20 of his 26 points in the second half to lead the Hoosiers to a 1-0 start.

The contest had the makings of a tough tilt from the outset as Kansas tied up Indiana and logged a steal by less than 15 seconds into the game – a forced jump-ball by freshman guard Josh Jackson in his collegiate debut. The Jayhawks nearly completed the hustle play bingo card in the first minute after an offensive rebound turned into a late shot clock three and another steal turned into the second transition bucket for Carlton Bragg and a 7-3 lead.

Kansas used an 11-0 run to regain the lead and closed the half hitting five of its last six shots.

The Jayhawks made their way to a nine-point lead in the second half before Indiana chipped away, hitting first four three pointers to erase the deficit and regain the lead for the first time since five minutes left in the first half at 60-59 with 12:30

Kansas quickly turned the tide with back-to-back lobs from Lucas and Vick off inbounds plays. Graham extended the run to 7-0 by converting an and-1 fast break layup and the free throw for a 66-60 Jayhawk lead.

Indiana responded with a 6-0 run to tie the game at 66 – the theme of the March-like atmosphere surrounding the blueblood matchup which featured 16 ties and 17 lead changes.

The fouls started to mount and Bragg became the first player to reach five when he fouled out with 3:45 to play.

In the final three minutes of regulation, Mason three times drove to the basket and scored while being fouled to pull Kansas out of a late deficit. Mason’s 11 straight points to end regulation were capped off by a pair of free throws to tie the game 89 with two second remaining to force overtime.

Jackson contributed when the team needed him most in his collegiate debut, hitting a pair of free throws to tie it at 91 with just under three minutes left in overtime, then added a put back dunk to cut the lead to two with 34.8 seconds to go. Indiana put the game on ice by converting free throws in the final 30 seconds as Kansas ran out of time to build enough momentum with four starters fouled out.

Kansas flies directly from Honolulu to New York City to play No. 1 Duke in the State Farm Champions Classic, Nov. 15 at 8 p.m. Central time on ESPN. The contest will be played in historic Madison Square Garden. KU will have its home opener when it plays host to Siena on Friday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m., on Jayhawk TV/ESPN3. The KU-Siena contest is a home contest for the CBE Hall of Fame Classic.

Friday marked the fifth annual State Farm Armed Forces Classic, which began in 2012 at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. This was the first time KU competed in the Armed Forces Classic; KU is also the first representative from the Big 12 Conference in the event.

The Hoosiers take an 8-6 lead the overall series with Kansas. The Jayhawks have won six of the last eight meetings. KU and IU last met in 1995 in Kansas City with the Jayhawks claiming a 91-83 victory on Dec. 16. This series dates back to 1940 with the first two meetings, both IU wins, in the NCAA title game in 1940 and 1953.

Kansas ranks second in NCAA Division I all-time victories at 2,186, while Indiana is 10th with 1,784 wins. Kansas and Indiana have each won five national championships in men’s basketball. The two teams have combined for 22 Final Four appearances (Kansas 14, Indiana eight), and have combined for 81 conference regular-season titles (Kansas 59, Indiana 22).

Kansas shot 30-for-38 at the free throw line, already tying 2015-16’s season-high 30 free throws made against Kentucky (Jan. 20, 2016) – also an overtime game. Frank Mason III led Kansas at the charity stripe with person career highs in free throws made (13) and free throws attempted (15).

Friday’s contest featured 16 ties and 17 lead changes, surpassing KU’s 2015-16 season high of 13 ties in three overtimes against Oklahoma (Jan. 4, 2016). Last season’s season-high 18 lead changes came against Kentucky (Jan. 30, 2016).

Friday marked the 123rd overtime (OT) contest in Kansas basketball history and the 13th on a neutral site. The Jayhawks are now 66-57 in OT games and 7-6 in neutral-site OT games.

A combined seven players from both teams fouled out, four from Kansas and three from Indiana. Kansas (32) and Indiana (31) combined for 63 total fouls on Friday night. In addition to the seven combined foul outs, Kansas and Indiana each had two players with four fouls at the end of the contest.

KU’s 32 team fouls are the most since recording 31 at Texas on Feb. 1, 2014.

KU’s 14-game winning streak in the first game of the season came to an end on Friday in Hawaii. Bill Self is now 13-1 in season-openers at Kansas.

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