Jackson, strong second half wills No. 3/3 Kansas past Davidson, 89-71
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Josh Jackson imposed his will in the lane seconds after the tipoff and wound up with a team-best 18 points and eight instrumental rebounds as third-ranked Kansas 89-71 defeated Davidson in the Jayhawk Shootout presented by Shawnee Mission Health on Saturday night at Sprint Center.
The final score was no indication, but until Jackson sparked the Jayhawks (10-1) with hustle plays in the final 20 minutes, KU had trouble putting away a pesky Davidson (5-4) team that held a five-point advantage two minutes into the second half.
Five of Jackson’s eight total rebounds were on the offensive glass as he helped Kansas record 23 second-chance points, the first of which were attributed to Jackson’s tip-in on the first possession of the contest.
Frank Mason III finished with 18 points.
As a whole, the Jayhawks tallied 15 offensive rebounds and turned in a 48 percent shooting percentage (33-of-68). Senior guard Frank Mason III tied Jackson’s scoring output with 18 points of his own, his fourth-straight contest putting at least 18 on the board. Junior guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk, who started for the first time this season, totaled 13 and Devonte’ Graham rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points.
Davidson (5-4) received a game-high 22 points from junior forward Peyton Aldridge, who went 5-of-10 from three, as the Wildcats scraped together a 42 percent shooting effort from the field (24-of-56).
To the surprise of the 17,820 in attendance, Davidson weathered two different first half runs by the Jayhawks to claim a 43-42 lead heading into halftime. Helped in large part by Aldridge’s 11 first period points, the Wildcats were able to storm back each time Kansas looked to pull away with seven and six-point outbursts.
Prior to the turning of the tide, Mason put through one of his signature circus and-1 layups to ignite a quick 7-0 burst out of the first media timeout. The rest of the Jayhawks followed suit and willed the ball through the basket as Graham and Mitch Lightfoot made layups to take a 17-9 lead before Davidson was able to respond.
The Wildcats answered with poise and tacked on five points in consecutive possessions to inch back within five, 19-14, with 11:56 to play in the first half as Aldridge and Jon Axel Gudmundsson converted a layup and a three, respectively.
Kansas swung back once again and put up six-straight in just over a minute of action. Jackson played a large part in the frenzy as he continued to exploit Davidson on second-chance opportunities in the paint. Despite two fouls, the Detroit native tallied eight points and five boards in 11 first half minutes, helping Kansas to a 29-17 advantage.
Twelve points was the largest KU’s lead would grow until late as Davidson put a temporary end to the runs. Bolstered by an and-one from Oskar Michelsen, a three by Aldridge and two Nathan Ekwu layups, the Wildcats hit timely shots to stick around in the game, trailing by only four points, 31-27, after outscoring the Jayhawks 10-2 over three minutes.
A rare four-point play fell in favor of Davidson to tie the game up at 33-33 as Mason fouled Jack Gibbs deep to the right of the arc. The Wildcats seized the momentum on their way to outscoring Kansas 10-9 in the remaining five minutes, while laying claim to be just the second team this season to be ahead of the Jayhawks at the intermission, 43-42.
Davidson silenced the crowd out of the half with back-to-back 3-point baskets from the right corner in 39 seconds. Kansas head coach Bill Self burned a quick timeout facing KU’s largest deficit of the contest, 49-44.
As he had all night, Jackson would be the one to will Kansas back into the lead. Out of the timeout he set up in the corner and Mason found him for his first three of the contest to end KU’s two-minute drought and get back within two, 49-47.
Kansas wouldn’t be denied on the glass in its next two possessions. The Jayhawks, led by Jackson’s two boards, corralled five of their own stray shots off of the backboard, eventually converting the hustle plays into points.
Following Jackson’s 3-pointer to pull within two, Mason was the beneficiary of offensive boards by Jackson, Mykhailiuk and himself to drill a three and reclaim the lead, 50-49, with 16:31 to play.
The next time down the floor, Jackson and Lucas each tallied offensive rebounds and Jackson finished off the extended possession with a layup to go up by three points heading into the first media timeout.
With a newfound lead Kansas began to wear down Davidson in transition. Turnovers and long rebounds from missed shots – Davidson endured a nearly four-minute drought midway through the second half – gave the Jayhawk backcourt enough room to run and piece together five of their next six shots, grasping a 67-60 lead with eight minutes left.
Leading by six with five minutes left, Kansas put up 10-straight points in just over 60 seconds – highlighting a 25-11 game-ending run in the last eight minutes of play that put the finishing touches on an 89-71 win.
• Kansas leads the all-time series with Davidson, 2-1. Two of the three meetings have been in Kansas City (2011, 2016). The other was an Elite Eight matchup in 2008 on the way to KU’s fifth national title.
• The Jayhawks have scored 89 points or more in six-straight games. It is the longest streak of 89 points or more since posting six-consecutive games with 91 or more points from Jan. 4-18, 1990.
• KU’s 10 steals tied for the most in a game this season. The Jayhawks also swiped 10 possessions from UAB and Long Beach State.
• Kansas’ six turnovers were the fewest since the Jayhawks had five against Iowa State in March of 2016.
• Kansas has benefited from a balanced scoring attack this season with four or more double-figure scorers in nine of its 11 games.
• Kansas has a record of 10-1 or better for the second-straight season and seventh time in the Bill Self era.
• The Jayhawks turned in their third-best free throw percentage of the season at 70.8 (17-of-24).
• The Jayhawks won their 10th-straight game, marking the 15th time in the Self era KU has posted winning streaks of 10 games or more
• Kansas has won seven-straight games in Sprint Center, including three this season, for a 34-6 all-time record in the venue.
• After playing its 299th game in Kansas City, the Jayhawks hold a 219-80 record dating back to 1899. Kansas is 34-6 after its 40th game at Sprint Center.
• The Jayhawks extend the nation’s active home court winning streak to 49 games, including 46-straight in Allen Fieldhouse
• Kansas is four wins away from its 2,220th all-time win (2,196-837).
• Kansas scored between 80 and 89 points for the fifth time this season. The Jayhawks are 130-8 during the Bill Self era when scoring between 80 and 89 points.
• Kansas made up for an 0-for-8 3-point shooting performance in the first half with a 6-for-13 effort from long range in the second half. The last time Kansas didn’t make a 3-pointer in a half was the second half against UConn in the second round of the NCAA Championship on March 19, 2016.
• Freshman guard Josh Jackson’s tip-in at the 19:54 mark of the first half was the quickest points Kansas has scored in a game this season.
• Kansas outscored Davidson in second-chance points, 23-9. It ties a season high for second-chance points (23) and second-chance scoring margin (+14) with the UMKC game (Dec. 6).
• Kansas trailed Davidson at halftime, 43-42. It is just the second time this season Kansas trailed at halftime. Kansas recovered from a five-point halftime deficit against Duke (Nov. 15) before defeating the top-ranked Blue Devils, 77-75.
• Kansas outscored Davidson in points off turnovers, 16-2..
• Davidson’s Peyton Aldridge connected on five 3-point attempts, and grabbed seven defensive rebounds – season highs for an opposing player.
SENIOR G FRANK MASON III
• Finished with 18 points, seven assists and six rebounds in 36 minutes.
• Went 8 for 9 at the free throw line.
• Mason’s 18 points moved him past Mario Chalmers for 28th on KU’s all-time scoring list with 1,355.
• Ended a streak of two games without a turnover. Last time Mason turned the ball over was in the first half against Stanford (Dec. 3). Mason played 94 minutes of regulation between turnovers.
• Made his 85th-consecutive start and is now in eighth place on KU’s all-time consecutive starts.
• In his last six games, Mason has averaged 19.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 6.1 assists and boasts a 4.1 assist-to-turnover ratio in that span.
FRESHMAN G JOSH JACKSON
• Finished with co-team highs of 18 points and eight rebounds in 27 minutes.
• Scored on a trio of offensive rebound put-backs in the first 10 minutes of the game.
• Jackson made KU’s first 3-pointer of the game at the 17:09 mark of the second half.
JUNIOR G DEVONTE’ GRAHAM
• Scored 10 points with three assists and a career-high two blocks in 32 minutes.
JUNIOR G SVIATOSLAV MYKHAILIUK
• Made his first start since Dec. 10, 2014 at Georgetown.
• Has scored 10-plus points in five-straight games, totaling seven double-figure scoring efforts this season which matches the number of double-figure scoring games he had last season.
SENIOR C LANDEN LUCAS
• Grabbed a season-high eight rebounds to co-lead the Jayhawks.
Kansas head coach Bill Self
“I didn’t think we were awful, offensively, the first half. We just didn’t make any shots, didn’t make any threes, [we were] zero for eight. They made them, they outscored us by 21 points from the 3-point line the first half. The second half, we shot it better and then of course they didn’t shoot it quite as good. I think we played good the second half, I can’t complain at all. You get Carlton (Bragg Jr.) and Landen (Lucas) basically playing on position and get 15-15 [minutes] and if we get that type of production from our bigs we’ll be good. Lagerald (Vick) was kind of a no-show the first half but was big the second half. I thought Svi (Mykhailiuk) played very well, both halves. Devonte’ (Graham) was solid. Frank (Mason III) didn’t have his best game, but that kid he’s guarding (Jack Gibbs) is averaging 24 a game and Frank holds him to three of 14. He (Mason) gets 18 himself, seven assists, six rebounds. I think Josh (Jackson) was close to having his best game of the year, but it didn’t quite happen for him, he missed a couple of shots he normally makes. I thought we played well. I thought that was as sound as we’ve been in a half.”
On how the teams performed:
“They made everything early in the first half. We go in down one because we don’t get a loose ball late. The second half, we came out and played. I’ve got nothing negative (to say) about how we played the second half. I thought we played smart and I think they may have gotten a little tired. I think we did too, but they got tired later and we kept making shots and they missed. They really don’t have the depth to come press, so it worked out good for us late.”
On the team’s shooting:
“We were 0-for-8 in our first shots and probably four or so were threes. The advantage we had over them was our quickness. We need to drive it downhill. When you score 42 at half, you think you’re going to be in good shape, but we just couldn’t guard them. (In the) Second half, we did a lot better. We’ll be tired tonight. We’ve got three guys playing over 30 [minutes]. That was a game that obviously concerned me. They took Carolina to a three-point game, with under two left at the D-Dome and we know how they’re capable of shooting a three. For us to win a game in which we were not making shots, at least early, that was good for our confidence.”
On the loyalty of Kansas fans:
“I’m not sure how many made it over from Lawrence. I know that the roads were bad. We checked all day and they were awful on I-70, but maybe other parts were a little better. It was amazing to me. I guessed before the game we’d get maybe 3,000 and my staff said, ‘No, we’ll have more than that, we’ll have 5,000.’ We know for a fact we had over 11,000 come through the door. To have 11,000 people come in this weather, they played a role (in the outcome of the game), so I certainly appreciate every one of them.”
Kansas freshman guard Josh Jackson
On if being aggressive on the glass in the second half was addressed at halftime:
“Yeah, definitely. (In the) First half we didn’t knock down as many shots as we wanted to. One thing that we knew we had to do was get to the basket and get a couple of offensive rebounds.”
On his 3-pointer after Landen Lucas’ free throw:
“It helps us get fired up. It’s a game of runs. Everybody is going to make a couple of shots here and there, but it’s all about who can string the most together and get stops while doing it.”
On if Kansas had to alter its 3-point defense when Davidson started making its 3s early:
“A little bit. They’re a team who really moves a lot on offense, sets a lot of screens. It was kind of hard for us to keep up with our men out there. I think we made a couple of adjustments on defense that really helped us out.”
On finding a balance between being aggressive and settling for the first shot:
“Just moving the ball really. I think we’re all really unselfish. When one guy has a really good shot either of us will look over and see the next guy has a better shot. (It’s) Just being able to make that extra pass.”
On if it impacts the starters when someone new joins the lineup:
“No, not really. It’s kind of all the same, especially when we’re starting four guards. It was really good having Svi (Mykhailiuk) out there today. He spreads the floor for us a lot, (which) gives us space to drive the ball.”
Kansas senior guard Frank Mason III
On when the game was tied and what triggered the 20-4 run:
“I think on the defensive end we did a great job with the scouting report. All the guys were in the right places. I think we did a great job contesting shots, blocking out and rebounding.”
On trailing at half and if there was a different vibe in the locker room:
“Coach (Self) is still coaching us. He’s telling us what we need to correct and we just come out and make the changes. I think the guys did a great job adjusting and we had a great second half.”
On what Self said about Davidson’s last possession before the half:
“He was just a little upset that Lagerald (Vick) mishandled the ball and they got a shot off.”
On Carlton Bragg Jr.’s big second half:
“I think he just believed in himself. He had confidence coming into the game. He didn’t really play well in the first half, but we told him in the locker room to stay aggressive and stay confident and that’s exactly what he did. (We are) Always happy to have him back out here as a part of the team.”
On Self telling them to go downhill and not to settle for shots:
“We were settling for a little while. Coach said drive the ball downhill and I think we did a great job of that. I think they struggled keeping the ball in front of them.”
On adjusting to guard Davidson’s 3-point shots in the second half:
“I feel like we were there on the catch. We did a good job with that – not letting them get any easy looks. (We were) Just paying attention to the scouting report. We knew their plays really well and the main thing is just contesting every shot.”
On the game plan for defending Davidson’s senior guard Jack Gibbs:
“The game plan was to just get engaged with him. He would bring the ball up because he liked to attack the elbows. I think my teammates did a great job helping me. He’s a really good player.”
On the team’s rebounding:
“I think we did a great job rebounding the ball. We had a couple times where we didn’t rebound the ball as well in the first half, but we came back out the second half and a lot of the guys but themselves in position to rebound.”
On if other players having a lot of rebounds makes it easier on him:
“Yeah, definitely. When those guys are rebounding like they did today, it helps our team out a lot. (But) Me, Devonte’ and the other guards still can get in there and help those guys rebound.”
On what will keep Udoka Azubuike on the floor and if he’s still learning:
“Rebounding the ball, blocking shots, altering shots, don’t just run the floor every possession. Get in angles. We need him to do those things first. I think he’s still picking up on it. We help him every day and Coach is helping him. He’s improving every day.”
Kansas junior guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
On when he found out he was starting:
“Yesterday. It feels good to start for Kansas.”
On if he changed his approach with starting:
“I don’t think so. I play the same way it doesn’t matter to me if I’m starting or not starting.”
On pounding his chest after a 3-point basket and the emotion:
“I was just happy to hit a three. I think we were up five or seven (points) and it was a good three to hit.”
Davidson head coach Bob McKillop
“They just annihilated us in the paint, in second-chance points and they annihilated us in transition. I think those were penal factors. They really capitalized in all of those areas.”
On Kansas’ aggressiveness to start the second half:
“After the 15 or 16 minute mark we had built the lead up to five or six. They got two or three tip outs. The one that sticks out is when they got an offensive rebound and then got a three out of it. On back to back possessions they made threes.”
On freshman guard Josh Jackson’s early foul trouble:
“I don’t know. I noticed that he was out of the game. I know he had the two fouls, but there wasn’t anything that we changed in our strategy.”
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