No. 1 Jayhawks finish strong to knock out Coyotes, 89-53
LAWRENCE, Kan. – A 30-6 run over the final 8:30 of regulation gave No. 1 Kansas the final separation it needed to take down the South Dakota Coyotes, 89-53, Tuesday night at Allen Fieldhouse. Redshirt-sophomore Charlie Moore posted a season-high 18 points with the help of five second-half 3-pointers, while redshirt junior Dedric Lawson was close behind with 16 points in posting his seventh double-double of the year.
The win pushed the Jayhawks to 10-0 on the year, its first 10-0 start since 2010-11, while the Coyotes fell to 6-6 in 2018-19.
It was cold shooting opening half for both squads as KU and USD as the two squads combined for seven of their first 25 field goal attempts over the opening 10:30 of the contest. Despite the lids on the rims, KU managed to jump out to an early 9-0 lead. Junior forward Mitch Lightfoot matched his season high in the first half as he led the Jayhawks with seven points. Kansas went into the locker room leading 37-27, the Jayhawks’ largest lead at halftime since its season opener.
The Jayhawks had trouble putting away the visitors, who cut the KU lead to 12 points, 59-47, with just over eight minutes to play. But a strong finish saw Kansas turn its lead from 12 into over 35 over the closing stretch. Moore scored 15 of his season-high 18 points in the second half, ending the night shooting 66 percent from the field via a 6-of-9 clip from beyond the arc. His six treys marked a career-high.
Lawson added his seventh double-double of the season, with 10 points and 10 rebounds coming in the final 20 minutes, to add to his 16 points and 14 rebounds on the night.
After posting only four first-half points, freshman David McCormack recorded a new career-high 12 points and 2 blocks in 17 minutes of play. McCormack pulled down 6 rebounds, matching his season high against Louisiana earlier this year.
The Jayhawks shot 64.5 percent from the field (20-31) in the second half and closed out the night with a 51.5 percent mark, including a 9-of-23 clip (39.1 percent) from 3-point range. KU also converted on 12 of its 15 tries from the free throw line, to post a season-high 80 percent from the charity stripe.
QUOTES – Full Quotes
Head coach Bill Self
On different players stepping up, combined with his opening statement:
“We needed it; our starters weren’t very good at all, for at least the first half. Mitch (Lightfoot) had a really good first half; Charlie (Moore) only made one shot, he didn’t do much; and David McCormack) was ok, but he didn’t really do much the first half either. The second half there’s no question we were at our best when David and Charlie were both in the game. It was good to see those guys step up. I thought David was great, I thought Charlie obviously shot the heck out the ball and did some good things. But on a night where Lagerald (Vick) was ok, he was still 2-of-3 from (behind the) 3-point arc, Dedric (Lawson) didn’t have his best game and certainly Devon (Dotson) didn’t and Q (Quentin Grimes) didn’t, (so) it was nice to have those other guys step up off the bench.”
On David McCormack’s impressive play in just 17 minutes tonight:
“The most impressive play he had was the blocked shot. I mean he at least went after the ball, it was nice to see. They say your performance is usually a direct reflection of your attitude and his attitude is a ’10’ every day. I was really happy for him and I was really happy for Charlie too, to see the ball go into the hole because he needs to be a (scoring) threat. Because we’ve labored shooting the ball other than Lagerald. We’ve got to get a second guy who can be a threat.”
Kansas redshirt-sophomore guard Charlie Moore
On moving the ball better, getting more assists, in the second half:
“Coach (Self) talked to us about that during halftime; told us we only had three assists, (that) we needed to get the ball downhill more and get others involved. We just took his words and used them in the second half and it worked out for us.”
On if he thinks he could be the third offensive threat for the team:
“I shot it pretty well today. I just have to go back to the drawing board and practice, just get ready for the next game.”
Kansas freshman forward David McCormack
On how the pace of play is slowing down for him:
“The more I play, the more I can feel the pace of the game just slowing down, and (I’m) seeing what’s really going on around (on) the court as far as what I need to do and what I can do to help the team.”
On how it felt to get extended minutes (17) on the court tonight:
“It felt good, that I can contribute to the team, help in whatever way I can. Tonight was just a night where I got more minutes, so I had more opportunities to get the ball in the basket, rebound, block, defend whoever I could, do whatever I could to help us win tonight.”
NOTABLES – Full NotesTeam Notes
- The win gave KU a 10-game winning streak for the first time since the 2016-17 season and the 16th time in the Bill Self era
- The Jayhawks’ 37-27 halftime edge was its largest lead at the break since it led Michigan State by 14 (50-36) at the intermission in the season opener on Nov. 11.
- KU made just one 3-pointer in the first half, marking the third time this season the Jayhawks made one or fewer triples in the opening frame. Kansas is shooting 31 percent (31-of-100) from 3-point range in the first half this season, versus 44.2 percent (38-of-86) in the second half, including Tuesday’s 8-of-15 from 3-point range in the final frame.
- Eight different Jayhawks scored in the first half led by Mitch Lightfoot’s seven-point, five-rebound performance in the opening frame.
- Nine of the ten Jayhawks that saw action scored, with four recording double-digit performances.
- The Jayhawks turned in a 77.8 percent performance (35-45) from the free throw line, which is the best output out of the last two contests. In its previous eight outings, Kansas shot 64.2 percent from the free throw line (113-176).
- Kansas set season-highs for points in a half (52, 2nd), field goals (34), free throw percentage (80 percent) and steals (11). The Jayhawks tied season highs for 3-point field goal attempts (23) and defensive rebounds (32).
- In its last two outings, the Jayhawks outrebounded their opponents by a combined 20 board margin. In the four contests prior, Kansas lost the rebounding edge by a total of six.
- The Jayhawks never trailed, marking the first time this season Kansas has not faced a deficit.
- In the final 8:30 of regulation, the Jayhawks outscored the Coyotes 30-6.
- After allowing an average of 18 opponent fast break points over its first three outings of the season, the Jayhawks have allowed a total of 14 opponent points off fast breaks over its next seven contests including just two against the Coyotes.
- Kansas’ 40 bench points are the most since the non-starters scored 45 points against Austin Peay on March 17, 2016 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
- Dedric Lawson Lawson’s 16-point outing snapped his six-game streak of scoring 20 or more points. However, he has scored 16 or more points in all but one of his ten outings this season.
- Lawson also pulled down fourteen rebounds which marked his league-leading seventh double-double of the season, and the 43rd of his career.
- Lawson’s 12 defensive rebounds are the most by a Jayhawk this season.
- Lawson has now scored 197 points through his first ten games in a Kansas uniform. Only two other Jayhawks since 1950 have scored more points in their first ten outings at KU. Wilt Chamberlain posted 329 points in the first ten outings of his sophomore season in 1956-57 (first year of eligibility) while Wayne Hightower tallied 200 points over ten contests in the 1959-60 season.
- RS-Sophomore guard Charlie Moore recorded a season high 18 points on only nine shots, including a team-high six 3-pointers. That also marks his career-high in 3-point field goals.
- Moore’s 18 points off the bench are most by a Jayhawk since Malik Newman’s 27-point performance at Iowa State on January 9th, 2018.
Though it has played four games away from Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas makes its first official road game of the 2018-19 season at No. 18/19 Arizona State, on Saturday, Dec. 22, in Tempe, Arizona.
This series is tied at 5-5 and dates back to 1961. Kansas has won two of the last three meetings. Last season, Arizona State defeated Kansas, 95-85, on Dec. 10, 2017, in Allen Fieldhouse. It was the first time a KU opponent had won by 10 or more points in Allen Fieldhouse since the 2010-11 season.
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