Second-half surge helps Kansas run past Wofford, 72-47
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The combo of freshman Devon Dotson, redshirt-junior Dedric Lawson, and a 27-0 second-half run proved to be too much for Wofford as the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks claimed a 72-47 win over the Terriers Tuesday night inside Allen Fieldhouse. With Wofford coming into the game averaging 11 3-pointers per game, some stout Jayhawk defense helped close out on the perimeter, leading to the Terriers to a 3-of-23 clip from beyond the arc, a season low.
With the victory, Kansas remained one of 11 teams in NCAA DI still without a loss this season, now boasting a 7-0 record. The Terriers suffered their third loss of 2018-19, now sitting at 6-3.
It was an cold-shooting first half for both squads as the two teams combined to hit just three 3-pointers on a total of 19 attempts. Despite the cold touch from deep and an early injury to center Udoka Azubuike, the Jayhawks managed to take a 29-26 lead into the halftime locker room. This due to 18-combined points each from Lawson, Dotson and Marcus Garrett in the opening 20 minutes.
Lawson connected on consecutive layups to begin the second-half and those were followed by a corner three from Dotson to help Kansas gain some separation early in the second frame, making it 38-32. After Wofford cut the lead back within two at the 11:15 mark, the Jayhawks didn’t look back. Kansas exploded on a 27-0 run over the next 8:49 to put the visitors away once and for all. The quick hands of Garrett and Dotson helped the Jayhawks get their hands in passing lanes for easy transition layups, sparking the team to nine steals on the night. In the blink of an eye, Dotson found his reliable big man, Lawson again for his 13th and 14th points of the night. That was followed up by a Quentin Grimes alley-oop in transition, making it 53-41 with 8:34 remaining. Lawson would score three more times in the paint while Grimes added a late three-pointer, capping a 30-7 KU spurt to close the game after Wofford came within two points.
Lawson showed his consistency and experience with 20 points and eight rebounds on the night, shooting an impressive 10-of-17 from the field. Dotson continued his hot streak as he finished with 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting. He also dished out three assists. Grimes bounced back after some quiet outings with 14 points.
KU closed out the game holding the Terriers to 26.2 percent (17-65) shooting from the field, which included a 5-of-26 clip (19.2 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc. Kansas also outscored Wofford in the paint by 30 points with a 46-16 edge.
QUOTES – Full Quotes
Kansas head coach Bill Self
On the sluggish first half and the team’s great play of the second half:
“It’s the best game we played this year. Fans may disagree, even though we didn’t score, we played the right way without Lagerald (Vick) and Doke (Udoka Azubuike). Who would have thought that Doke and Lagerald would combine for zero points, we get outrebounded by 10, and we win by 25 against a team that’s really good? I am really proud of our guys that in a 72-hour period, we had a mindset that totally changed defensively.”
On freshman guard Devon Dotson’s performance:
“You may forget about him, but we know. He’s playing as well as anybody. He’s playing downhill, getting to the rim, getting (in)to the paint. He’s creating for others. He didn’t have any assists tonight because we didn’t make any shots. He got guys looks, and I thought those two freshman guards (Dotson and Quentin Grimes) were pretty effective tonight. Now Dedric (Lawson) got 20 (points) and eight (rebounds).
On junior Udoka Azubuike’s injury:
The biggest concern coming out of this is Udoka (Azubuike) and his health. He sprained it (his right ankle) pretty good and he is going to be out (for a while). (The) X-rays came back negative, but he is going to be out; meaning not day-to-day. Hopefully we will have him back healthy, but we will (have to) wait and see. It was a very legitimate ankle sprain.”
Kansas freshman guard Devon Dotson
On what changed to be able to go on a 27-0 run:
“It was just us deciding to lock up and really focus in. On the defensive end, we know they like to shoot, come off the screens, different actions, it was really just locking in and focusing in.”
NOTABLES – Full Notes
- The win made Kansas 7-0 for the second-straight season and sixth time in head coach Bill Self’s 16 seasons at KU.
- KU’s victory also moved the Jayhawks to 163-1 under Bill Self when holding its opponent to 59 points or fewer.
- The Jayhawks’ seven turnovers were a season low. It also marked the fewest giveaways since KU had 7 turnovers at Iowa State on Feb. 13, 2018.
- The Jayhawks outscored the Terriers by a margin of 30 in the paint (46-16). This season Kansas is averaging 42 points in the paint.
- After Wofford cut the Jayhawk lead to two points following an eight-two run, Kansas responded with a 27-0 run over a span of 8:49 to up 78-41. During that stretch, Kansas was 12-of-16 from the floor (75 percent).
- The Jayhawks held Wofford to just three fast break points. Since Louisiana posted 23 fast break points on 11-16, the next four KU opponents have combined to tally a total of 5 fast break points.
- Wofford’s 47 points marked an opponent season-low for the Jayhawks. This total was the lowest by a Jayhawk foe since the Montana Grizzlies scored 46 in the 88-46 KU win on Dec. 19, 2015.
- Wofford’s 19 offensive rebounds are the most by a KU opponent since TCU also pulled down 19 offensive boards on Jan. 6, 2018.
- Kansas forced 18 Wofford turnovers on Tuesday night. Kansas has now forced 18 or more turnovers three times in its 7 games this season. Last year, the Jayhawks forced 18+ opponent turnovers 3 times in 38 games.
- The Jayhawks were able to convert their 18 turnovers into 25 points. Kansas has scored 25 or more points off opponent turnovers three times already this season.
- Wofford entered the game averaging 11 three-point field goals per game this season. The Jayhawks held the Terriers to season lows in both three-point field goals (5) and three-point percentage (19.2).
- Kansas held Wofford’s leading scorer, Fletcher Magee, to 1-of-14 (7.1 percent) shooting and 0-for-9 from behind the arc. The last Jayhawk opponent to miss all nine of his attempts from deep was Georges Niang of Iowa State on Jan. 13, 2014.
- The Jayhawks held Wofford to a field goal percentage of 26.2, which was 21.1 percent below their season average of 47.5 percent per game. This is the lowest opponent shooting percentage since Kansas held Texas to 21.8 percent (12-55) on Feb. 16, 2013.
- RS-Junior forward Dedric Lawson set a season high in blocks with three his most as a Jayhawk.
- With his 20 points against Wofford, Lawson also eclipsed the 20-point mark for the fifth time this season.
- Freshman Devon Dotson’s 16 points marked the fourth-straight game he his hit double figures and the third time this season he has tallied 16 or more points.
- After tallying two points on 1-of-4 shooting in the first half, Quentin Grimes tallied 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting and added a pair of rebounds and an assist in the second half.
Kansas will meet New Mexico State on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the Jayhawk Shootout at Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The game will be televised on ESPN2. Kansas is 3-0 all-time against New Mexico State with the last meeting a KU 75-56 win in the opening round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament in Omaha, Nebraska.
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