Kansas outlasts Texas Tech for win No. 2,200
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Jayhawk trio of Frank Mason III, Devonte’ Graham and Josh Jackson combined for 63 points as No. 3/2 Kansas withstood Texas Tech, 85-68, Saturday night in Allen Fieldhouse. The victory marked KU’s 2,200th win in program history, making the Jayhawks just the second NCAA Division I team to reach that mark.
The victory also gave Kansas (14-1, 3-0 Big 12) its 14th-straight victory and 48th-consecutive win inside Allen Fieldhouse, while Texas Tech (12-3, 1-2) suffered its 14th-straight loss at the hands of the Jayhawks.
Just five days removed from allowing the most points in a 40-minute home conference game since 2008, the Kansas defense made sure it returned to its stout ways as it hit the court against a stubborn Texas Tech team that was coming off an upset win over No. 7 West Virginia earlier in the week.
Devonte’ Graham scored 20 points with four assists on Saturday.
The determined Jayhawk defense was on display early as the visitors managed to hit just three of their first 13 shots from the field, helping KU get out to a quick 15-7 lead over the first 8:26 of the game. The Jayhawks pushed their lead into double digits following the 12-minute media timeout with the help of a Lagerald Vick steal and dunk, putting his squad up 17-7 with 11 minutes still to play in the half.
The fast Jayhawk start did not seem to discourage the Red Raiders, who were seeking their first win at Allen Fieldhouse. TTU slowly inched its way back into the game after the Jayhawk offense suffered from a four-minute field goal drought inside the final five minutes of the first half. A dunk by Red Raider Zach Smith pulled his team within three points of the home side at 30-27 with 1:24 remaining before the break.
With Texas Tech appearing to have the Jayhawks on the ropes, KU turned the Red Raiders’ momentum on their head with a quick spurt over the final minute to put the contest back in control. Jackson ended the KU scoring drought with a steal and fast-break dunk as the clock ticked below 55 seconds. Moments later, Mason forced TTU’s eighth first-half turnover, before earning a trip to the charity stripe where his two free throws turned into four after TTU’s Anthony Livingston was whistled for a technical. Mason converted on three of his four tries before a Landen Lucas lay-up just seconds before the halftime buzzer pushed the KU lead back to double digits at 37-27. In all, the Jayhawks closed the first period on a 7-0 run over the final 60 seconds of the half to turn a one-possession game into what appeared to be the early stages of a runaway KU victory.
Much like the opening half, the Red Raiders managed to slowly creep their way back into range of the Jayhawks with the help of their hot outside shooting. The Big 12’s second-ranked 3-point shooting team converted on eight treys in the first 12 minutes following the intermission, to cut a once manageable Jayhawk lead to 60-55 as the clock read 8:22 remaining in regulation.
As the 16,300 inside Allen Fieldhouse began to become restless with the prospect of KU’s second nail-biter of the week, the Jayhawks snuffed that prospect out quickly.
The KU knockout blow began with four-straight points from Mason before Graham connected with Lucas on an alley-oop to put the Jayhawks back up by double-digits at 66-55 with just over seven minutes remaining.
Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk and Mason then nailed back-to-back treys to close out the 12-0 Jayhawk run that turned the five-point Jayhawk lead into a 72-55 advantage in the span of only two minutes.
Kansas kept Texas Tech at arms’ length for the remaining six minutes of the game to wrap up the 85-68 rout and remain atop the Big 12 standings.
Mason led all scorers with 26 points, 11 of which came from the charity stripe. Graham tallied a season-high 20 points after he shot 8-of-14 from the field, including a 4-for-8 clip from beyond the 3-point line.
Jackson posted his third double-double after contributing 17 points and leading the Jayhawks with 10 rebounds. The freshman also posted three blocks, including an impressive rejection on a would-be highlight dunk from TTU’s Shadell Millinghaus that led to a Vick lay-in in the early minutes of the second half.
After allowing Kansas State to shoot better than 50 percent earlier in the week, the KU defense seemed to be locked in as the TTU shooters managed to hit just 40 percent (24-of-59) from the field. Kansas also collected nine steals and forced the Red Raiders into 14 turnovers, nine of which came in the first half.
Kansas will travel to Oklahoma on Tuesday, Jan. 10, at 8 p.m., on ESPN2 and then return home to host Oklahoma State on Saturday, Jan. 14, at 1 p.m., on ESPN2. KU will play its first of four ESPN Big Monday games at Iowa State on Jan. 16 at 8 p.m.
KU STARTERS (CONSECUTIVE / SEASON / CAREER STARTS)
Sr. G Frank Mason III (89 / 15 / 92)
Jr. G Devonte’ Graham (22 / 15 / 51)
Jr. G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (5 / 5 / 11)
Fr. G Josh Jackson (15 / 15 / 15)
Sr. C Landen Lucas (4 / 9 / 42)
• Kansas now leads the all-time series with Texas Tech, 32-4. Kansas has won 15-straight in the series, dating back to 2010. Kansas is 17-0 against Texas Tech in games played in Lawrence, with all 17 contests in Allen Fieldhouse. Since the inception of the Big 12 Conference in 1997, Kansas is 24-4 against Texas Tech; 21-4 in regular-season match-ups and 3-0 in conference championship meetings.
ATTENDANCE: 16,300 (251st-consecutive sellout)
• Now with a 2,200-837 all-time record, Kansas becomes only the second team in NCAA Division I history to reach the 2,200 all-time wins threshold.
• Kansas is now 14-1 or better for the second-straight season and seventh time in the Bill Self era.
• With Frank Mason III (26 points) and Devonte’ Graham (20) reaching 20 points, it marks the third time this season Kansas has had two 20-point scorers in the same game. Josh Jackson (21) and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk (20) reached the mark against UNLV (Dec. 22). Mason (20) and Jackson (22) did so against UAB (Nov. 21). It is the first time Kansas has had two 20-point scorers against a Big 12 opponent since the 2016 Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship title game against West Virginia when Graham scored 27, and Wayne Selden Jr., scored 21.
• With its 14th-straight win, Kansas ties for the sixth-longest winning streak in the Bill Self era.
• Kansas shot 18-of-22 from the free throw line for its highest free throw percentage of the season (81.8 percent). After beginning the season shooting 59.2 percent from the free throw line in its first 12 nonconference games, Kansas is now shooting 76.1 percent during conference play.
• Kansas finished with a 51.8 shooting percentage from the field (29-for-56). The Jayhawks’ 56 field goal attempts are the fewest by KU this season. Kansas has shot 50 percent or better in 10 of its 15 games this season.
• Kansas used runs of 12-0 and 16-2 after the 8:22 mark of the second half to turn a five-point lead, 60-55, into a runaway 18-point victory, 85-68, at the final buzzer.
• Kansas held Texas Tech scoreless for 4:01 during the first half (15:06 to 11:07 in the first half).
• Kansas led at halftime, 37-27. It is the second double-figure scoring lead at halftime during conference play this season.
• Kansas registered 16 fast break points to Texas Tech’s two. The Jayhawks average 13.1 fast break points per game this season.
• Nearly half of Texas Tech’s shots from the field were from beyond the arc
• Kansas led for 38 minutes (95 percent of regulation). It is the seventh game this season Kansas has led for 90 percent of regulation or more.
Kansas maintains these active streaks, all of which lead the nation:
• 12 Big 12 Conference regular-season titles
• 27 NCAA Tournament appearances
• 27 seasons with 20 wins
• 51 wins at home, including 48 in Allen Fieldhouse
• 149 weeks ranked in AP Top 25
• Texas Tech did not shoot a free throw in the first half, becoming KU’s first opponent of the season to not visit the charity stripe in a half this season. It is the first time a KU opponent did not attempt a free throw in a half since Richmond did so in the first half on Dec. 18, 2012. Texas Tech’s Aaron Ross shot the Red Raiders’ first free throw at the 11:56 mark of the second half.
• Texas Tech’s 68 points are its most inside Allen Fieldhouse since 2004.
Senior G Frank Mason III
• Finished with 26 points on 6-of-11 shooting with five rebounds and four assists in 36 minutes. Now has 12 20-point games in his career, including eight this season.
• Shot 11-for-12 at the free throw line, besting his 11-for-14 free throw shooting performance against UMKC (Dec. 6) for the best by a Jayhawk this season. It is the most free throws by a Jayhawk in a Big 12 game since Mason made 11 against West Virginia on March 3, 2015.
• Shot 3-for-4 from beyond the arc to move into a tie with J.R. Giddens for 16th-place on KU’s all-time 3-point field goals made list (137).
• Has played 35-plus minutes in 12-of-15 games this season.
• Started in his 89th-straight game.
• Big 12-leading season scoring average increased to 19.9 points per game.
• Finished the night with 1,431 career points — two points away from tying Wilt Chamberlain on KU’s all-time scoring list.
• Scored 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting to lead the Jayhawks in the first half.
Junior G Devonte’ Graham
• Drained 4-of-8 3-pointers to pass Steve Woodberry for 18th on KU’s all-time 3-point field goals made list (127).
• Scored 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting with four assists in 37 minutes.
• Now has five 20-point scoring games in his career after his first of the season tonight.
• Registered his second dunk of the season to reach 10 points and break a three-minute scoring drought at the 12:06 mark of the first half.
• Scored the first five points for KU to open the game.
Freshman G Josh Jackson
• Recorded his third double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Jackson leads KU in double-doubles this season.
• Jackson added team highs of three blocks and two steals in 31 minutes of action.
• Both his steals resulted in a pair of his own fast-break dunks the first half.
Junior G Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk
• Fouled out for the first time in his career (76 games).
• Finished with five points, four rebounds and two steals in 21 minutes.
NCAA Division I All-Time Victories (games through Jan. 7, 2017)
1. Kentucky – 2,218-684
2. KANSAS – 2,200-837
3. North Carolina – 2,190-777
4. Duke – 2,101-866
5. Syracuse – 1,953-871
Kansas head coach Bill Self
On his team’s defensive effort tonight:
“I thought it was really good in the first half. We created some steals, we got two or three run-outs and points we didn’t have to earn. In the second half it wasn’t as good because they shot the ball so well from the three, and it’s hard to pressure teams that run motion, but certainly we did enough good things to put ourselves in a pretty good position. Then when they cut the lead to six, I thought we played really, really well after that to close the game out.”
On the 12-0 run towards the end of the game:
“I didn’t know it was 12-0, so that put us up 18 pretty quick. It had to happen within two minutes. I mean it happened pretty fast. I think Svi (Mykhailiuk) made a semi-guarded three, maybe Frank (Mason) made a three, then I’m not sure if Devonte’ (Graham) also made one during that stretch, but it was good to see. I still think we can play so much better. I thought nine turnovers and three assists in the first half were obviously pretty poor numbers by a pretty good ball-handling team, but in the second half those things kind of balanced out.”
On the play of the Jayhawks’ “Big Three” (Frank Mason III, Devonte’ Graham and Josh Jackson):
“I thought Frank closed the game out pretty well and Devonte’ obviously had one of his better games. Josh had 17 (points) and 10 (rebounds), then of course had three blocks as well, and if I’m not mistaken two steals. So our activity defensively was pretty good and I think he (Josh Jackson) was a big part of that.”
On Kansas becoming the second Division I program to reach 2,200 wins:
“I think it’s a great accomplishment, but to be honest with you I haven’t thought about it. I knew that we were coming up on 2,200, but you know to me, those are really nice and we’ll have a nice autographed ball that goes in the office and those sorts of things, but I’m not sure that really means a ton, except for the fact that we’re the second school to get there. I think we’re about 15-18 wins behind Kentucky, so it’s going to take a few years to catch those ‘Cats. But if we could ever get to the number one slot, then that to me would mean quite a bit. That means that these particular teams would be doing something pretty remarkable.”
On the upcoming road game against Oklahoma on Tuesday:
“They’re playing a really young team, especially with Jordan (Woodard) not playing right now – and who knows if he’ll play against us – but they play some match-up zone, which is a little bit different than what Lon (Kruger) has been doing, so we need to be prepared for that. But we need to go down with the same mindset that we went down there with last year. To win a league you have to win at home, but you also have to go win games that you have a chance to win on the road. We went to TCU and got it done, and certainly this would be a great win, as far as the league race goes, to go to Norman and get it done. I’ve watched them and I know their players are dangerous and we can’t allow them to get in a rhythm playing well, which I know they’re very capable of.”
Kansas junior guard Devonte’ Graham
On the team’s nine steals and answering the call for havoc:
“I think we did a little bit better defensively – being active. I feel like in the first half we were definitely locked in defensively. We could’ve played better in the second half, but I think we turned up the intensity a little bit.”
On how it felt to have such an offensive game:
“I felt good. Got a good night’s rest (last night). Woke up feeling pretty good this morning. Went and got me some breakfast. Just been feeling good all day. Took me a little nap before the game.”
On trying to make things happen instead of letting the game come:
“I think we do a good job of playing within ourselves, within the team and not trying to force any shots because we know we’ve got plenty of people who can score.”
On Kansas not being as locked in defensively in the second half as in the first:
“They had 25 points in the first half and they had about 13 in the first four or five minutes (of the second half). They came out shooting pretty good and we just weren’t closing out the shooters as well as we were in the first half.”
On if there was a sense of urgency to play well in this game:
“I think it was a little bit of a sense of urgency. We’ve been watching film on our last two games. Just seeing how we weren’t giving as much effort as we thought we were giving, you can tell on film when you’re not trying as hard as you should be, so that’s what we’ve been working on in practice is guarding, defending and it’s translating to the game.”
On what Coach Self said about the defense:
“He thought we did a better job. We always can improve. We haven’t played our best ball defensively yet, which is a good thing because we know we can get even better. We just have to keep coming to practice and focusing on defense.”
On outrebounding Texas Tech:
“That was a big emphasis, especially with two days of practice before the game. Just boxing out. Making sure we hit and go get and not just turn around and give the basketball. They had nine offensive rebounds in the first half so at halftime we were making adjustments to focus on boxing out once the shot went up.”
Kansas senior guard Frank Mason III
On how Kansas did tonight on forcing havoc:
“We did better than the past games. We definitely did the things we worked on in practice. We have to keep doing that moving forward.”
On what the 2,200 wins mean to the team:
“It means a lot. It’s just amazing. One program to win 2,200 games, it says a lot about the program and the history here at Kansas and there’s more to come.”
Kansas freshman guard Josh Jackson
On his two charges and if they took him out of his rhythm:
“Coming out of the game, I think it would take anybody out of their rhythm a little bit. It made me a little more cautious going to the basket, just knowing guys were going to stop and try to take charges so just being a little more cautious.”
Texas Tech head coach Chris Beard
On Kansas’ Frank Mason III:
“He’s a great college player. He’s gotten better every year. Coach Self and Norm (Roberts) and these guys get a lot of credit for great recruiting. It probably goes without noticing how good of coaches they are. This is a place that has one and dones, but the bottom line is look at the four years players, they get better. He’s a tough guard. When he goes 3-of-4 (from 3-point range), it’s tough. I didn’t like our team’s defense tonight. I didn’t think we took anything away from Kansas, but give Kansas credit. It wasn’t necessarily because our guys weren’t competing, it was because I thought Kansas played great tonight. Their best shooters make shots like that and we couldn’t get to the free throw line at the other end, which is another issue. It was just a really challenging game for us but give Kansas a lot of credit.”
On the Raiders getting within three points in the first half:
“Kansas plays streaks and runs. A lot of teams come here and you play with them for 32 minutes, but they run you out the floor for eight minutes and you get on the bus and get a sandwich. Today, the things that stick out to me is that we cut it to three points with about two minutes left in the first half. It’s a real objective to me to win those last couple of minutes. We called the timeout, which we normally use for the last-second shot, and then we unraveled. I give Kansas a lot of credit. Our best two ball handlers had turnovers and then (Anthony) Livingston got the technical foul. I didn’t see what happened there but I also need to watch the film. That’s not like us. We are not a team that gets technicals. But Kansas had a great start to the game. Then give us some credit because we got back in the game, we cut it to five or six, we had our best free throw shooter, Aaron Ross, on the free throw line for a one and one. I think it was our first free throw of the game, which is another question but we missed that and then it unravels again. Again it is not necessarily what we did bad. Give a good team, with a great coach, credit.”
On the Jayhawks’ defense:
“I knew we were going to play against the inspired Kansas team. I knew what we were getting into. I know Coach Self and I know Norm and I can only imagine what their practices have been like the past couple of days. We did everything we could with our players to explain that you’re about to play not only against a great team, but against a team that is motivated to play great defense. I thought they just took us out of a lot of our stuff. The first pass of our offense was difficult tonight. They changed up their ball screen coverage on our shooters. So give them a lot of credit for how they played defense tonight.”
On the difference between West Virginia and Kansas basketball:
“It is two completely different styles of play, but two great coaches. Two teams that are definitely in the fight to win it (the Big 12 Conference) this year. I think with Kansas I’ve just been impressed with the different styles this year. They still have the two game, throw it inside, make you foul them. But now they have the dribble hand off, ball screen, spread the floor, so it is just a sign of a hall of fame coach that adjusts to this talent and it is a sign of really good players. But I would put West Virginia in that same category too. They’re both really good teams that could play well in March.”
On Aaron Ross:
“Ross, on the offensive side of the floor, played great tonight. He made shots and stayed poised for the most part. I think he and I agree that defensively he had some real lapses but we have shot makers. It is going to be difficult for us to beat a team like Kansas. With Livingston not making shots tonight, I feel like Ross did his part offensively. But he still has a way to go on the defensive end to help us.”
On the Raiders’ season thus far and where the program is at right now:
“Right after the game Coach Self asked me who we played next and I said, ‘I think we play the Golden State Warriors.’ I don’t think much about myself, I think about what our players have done. They have done a good job adjusting to a new style of play. (I have the) Ultimate respect for Coach Tubby Smith and the program he had in the past. But our guys have put their own stamp on it. We want to try and be a part of the fight. We gave our self a chance against Iowa State, we beat West Virginia, and in a lot of ways we gave our self a chance here. Again, it’s five, six points, getting to the free throw line; we’re just not tough enough or good enough to finish it. We’re not into moral victories, we intend to be a part of the fight.”
On creating open 3-point shots in the second half:
“When you see you have not shot any free throws, then what is going on? So we wanted to drive the ball more. When we drove the ball more in the second half it led to better 3-point shots from where I was sitting, but we got some decent looks and I give Kansas a lot of credit. Again, I don’t feel like we took anything away from them tonight. Their best scorers got their numbers and I thought they took some things away from us and that was really the game.”
On when the Raiders face Kansas in the future:
“We just have to continue to get better as a team. Specifically, the next time we play them I would like to try to take something away from them because defensively they had us on our heels all night long and offensively we need to make shots. To beat a good team you need to make shots and tonight we had some good ones, but we just didn’t make them.”
Texas Tech junior guard Keenan Evans
On settling for threes instead of attacking the bucket:
“Yeah, especially in the first half. We started off not shooting so great and kept setting up for threes when we should’ve been attacking and trying to move to the free throw line. We didn’t shoot any free throws the first half so we should’ve attacked it a little bit more.”
On the difference when they cut Kansas’ lead down to six:
“The difference was they just started making shots. I felt like we were there. They’re just good players and made great shots. Once they got on a run, the fans started getting into it and there was no looking back from there.”
On breaking down what they did that allowed Kansas to stay in the lead:
“We had some close-out issues. Letting them get to the middle and get us twisting and turning and having to close-out everybody. Also, just making shots.”
On the cause of the team getting outrebounded:
“Not completing assignments to go in and hit somebody. Just from them driving to getting us all out of whack. We weren’t on our right man to go rebound and so we were kind of everywhere and getting long rebounds.”
On the team’s rebounding:
“We did a great job in the first half and I’m not sure how well we did in the second half, but there were several times where we could’ve gotten there for the offensive rebounds.”
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