Kansas offense comes alive in 79-63 win over Texas Tech
LAWRENCE, Kan. – A season-high 13 3-pointers and an impressive defensive effort helped the No. 11/12 Kansas Jayhawks top No. 16/15 Texas Tech, 79-63, Saturday afternoon at Allen Fieldhouse. Redshirt-junior Dedric Lawson led all scorers with 25 points and posted his 15th double-double of the season, while freshman guard Devon Dotson added a career-high 20 points in the win.
The victory moved KU to 17-5 on the year and 6-3 in league play, while Texas Tech fell to 17-5 and 5-4 in the Big 12.
The Jayhawks were scorching the nets from the start as Lawson and senior Lagerald Vick combined to outscore the entire TTU squad in the opening half. KU connected on nine 3-pointers in the opening frame, with three each coming off the hands of Vick and Lawson. KU stormed out to an early 10-2 lead, fueled by back-to-back triples from Vick and freshman Ochai Agbaji, just over four minutes into the game.
TTU managed to slow the fast KU start and cut its deficit to six points, 15-9, over the next four minutes, but the impressive Jayhawk shooting display continued. Vick splashed a pair of threes and redshirt-sophomore K.J. Lawson added one of his own to help the Jayhawk lead get to double-digits soon thereafter. Kansas headed into the final nine minutes of the opening half with a 26-15 advantage.
Another 3-pointer, this time from freshman Quentin Grimes at the 2:36 mark, ignited a strong KU finish to the half. The Jayhawks outscored the Red Raiders 10-2 to help them head into the locker room with a 46-26 lead, TTU’s largest halftime deficit of the season. KU also held the visitors to 30.3 percent shooting from the field over the opening 20 minutes.
The Kansas shooters cooled somewhat after the break but the Jayhawk defense still kept its strangle hold on the TTU offense. KU held the Red Raiders to just four field goals over the first seven minutes of the second frame, helping the Jayhawks keep the visitors at arm’s length.
KU also suffered a drought on the offensive end, tallying only two field goals between the 16:26 and 10:00 marks. TTU used this to slowly cut into the deficit, trimming the KU lead to 59-46 with 11:40 to play in regulation. But the Jayhawks again responded, this time with a 9-2 run to snuff out the Red Raider momentum once and for all.
Dedric Lawson and Dotson scored 17 of the Jayhawks’ final 20 points, all within the final 10 minutes of the game. Dotson’s 3-pointer with 3:51 to play in the game got the Jayhawks’ lead to 79-55, where they coasted to the 79-63 final score.
Dedric Lawson led the Jayhawks in scoring for the 10th time this season, scoring 25 points and pulling down 10 rebounds to tally his 15th double-double of 2018-19. Dotson surpassed the 20-point plateau for the first time in his young KU career, with 16 of those points coming in the second half. Vick scored in double-figures for the eighth-straight game via his 13-point effort, while Agabji added the first double-double of his career, posting 10 points along with 10 rebounds.
Kansas ended the day shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 43.3 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, which included a season-high 13 3-pointers. The KU defense held the Red Raiders to 34.4 percent from the field and just 21.4 percent from 3-point range.
QUOTES – Full Quotes
Kansas head coach Bill Self
On the game overall:
“The guys played great. I’m really proud and happy for them. The difference was that we played with a lot better energy and togetherness. You can try in your mind, but if you don’t play with energy, your try is never as good as your try when you play with energy and passion. We played with a lot of passion tonight. Even when we made mistakes it seemed like, to me, that the second we are off they couldn’t take advantage of it because we were flying around a little more.”
On Devon Dotson’s game-changing steal:
“On that play they could have called him for a clear out. It looked to me he may have used his off arm, so we got a break with the no call. And, of course, we get a terrible break with the intentional foul call like he was trying to grab his shirt. There was a lot of emotion (out there today) and I think frustration with Marcus (Garrett) getting hurt and Silvio’s (De Sousa’s) situation. I know our guys feel like they needed something good to happen today and they did it. The crowd was great. We certainly appreciate everyone for sticking with our guys because it’s been a rocky last couple weeks, there’s no question.”
Kansas freshman G Devon Dotson
On the key to maintaining a big lead the whole game:
“It was just taking every possession seriously and really locking in. When we’re turned up like that on the defensive end, I think we’re really tough to beat. We had our offense rolling tonight.”
On whether or not the team was encouraged to take more shots tonight:
“No. Well, kind of. Devonte’ (Graham) said some stuff before the game,(like) to shoot the ball, but the looks were open. You know, I’ll take them if they’re open and I’ll keep shooting.”
Kansas freshman guard Ochai Agbaji
On the statement the team made with a big win over Texas Tech:
“We really came together. I think that’s what our statement was. We had a lot of pressure going into this game and, obviously, we didn’t have a really good week last week so we had a lot of pressure going into this game and I think we handled it well.”
NOTABLES – Full Notes
- The win made the Kansas-Texas Tech series 35-5 in favor of the Jayhawks, including 18-1 in Allen Fieldhouse
- It was also Kansas’ 16th-straight win in Allen Fieldhouse, including 12-0 this season
- The game marked the 9th time this season KU has had four players in double figures.
- KU’s 13 3-pointers were a season high. The 13 triples were the most in a conference game since they drained 14 against Iowa State on Jan. 9, 2018.
- The Jayhawks’ 46 first-half points were their most in a half in conference play this season.
- In last season’s meeting on James Naismith Court, Texas Tech led wire-to-wire. Saturday, the Jayhawks returned the favor with zero ties and zero lead changes. It marked the second time Kansas had not been tied or trailed in a game (South Dakota, Dec. 18). Last time Kansas did not trail a league opponent was Oklahoma last season at home on Feb. 19, 2018.
- KU led Texas Tech by 24 with 4:27 left in the second half. It marked the fifth time Kansas has built a lead of 20 points or more this season.
- Kansas’ nine first half threes were the most in a half this season. It was the most the Jayhawks have hit in a half since the Big 12 Championship final last season against West Virginia with nine in the second half (Mar. 10, 2018).
- After recording zero steals in the first half, the Jayhawks recorded six in the second. They were able to capitalize with 12 points off those turnovers and 11 fast break points.
- Trailing Kansas 46-26 at the intermission, Texas Tech faced its largest halftime deficit of the season.
- Kansas’ 46 first half points were the most allowed in a half by the Red Raiders this season.
- RS-Junior forward Dedric Lawson posted his 12th 20-point game this season.
- Lawson’s 25 points and 10 rebounds marked his 15th double-double of the season (leads the Big 12).
- Lawson’s three 3-pointers were a season high, just one short of his career high.
- Freshman guard Devon Dotson posted a career-high 20 points.
- In his nine Big 12 outings, Dotson is averaging 11.3 ppg on 53.7 percent (29-of-54) shooting and 44.4 percent (8-of-18) from beyond the arc, while also averaging 3.7 rpg and 3.8 apg.
- Freshman guard Ochai Agbaji recorded his first dibble-double in a Kansas uniform (10 points, 10 rebounds).
Kansas will journey to Manhattan for the season’s first installment of the Dillons Sunflower Showdown when it meets Kansas State in Bramlage Coliseum on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 8 p.m. (CT) on ESPN or ESPN2. KU has won the last eight meetings with Kansas State and leads the overall series, 196-93. The Jayhawks are 26-4 against the Wildcats in Bramlage Coliseum and have won each of the three meetings in the venue, starting in 2016.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.