No. 1 Kansas outduels No. 17 Villanova, 74-71

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The tandem of senior Lagerald Vick and redshirt-junior Dedric Lawson combined for 57 points as the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks outlasted No. 17 Villanova, 74-71, Saturday afternoon inside Allen Fieldhouse. Vick scored 19 of his game-high 29 points in the second half, while Lawson posted his sixth double-double of the year as KU avenged its Final Four loss to the Wildcats last March.
The Jayhawks remained unbeaten on the year, moving to 9-0, its best start to a season since 2010-11. The Wildcats fell to 8-4 in 2018-19, suffering its second loss in five days.
Some hot shooting from Lawson and Vick had the Jayhawks out in front for the majority of the first half. After falling behind 13-8 before the 14:00 mark of the opening frame, KU sprinted on an 11-0 run, highlighted by triples from both Lawson and Vick. During this time KU held the Wildcats without a point for more than six minutes as it took a 19-13 lead before the under-8 minute media timeout.
Villanova countered with a trio of threes of their own over the final eight minutes of the first frame to claw their way back within reach before the break, as the Jayhawks held on to a 33-31 edge at the intermission.
The Wildcats came out of the halftime locker room on an 8-2 run to regain the lead at 39-35, less than four minutes into the second frame.
Vick and Lawson then took control on the offensive end, scoring 24 of their team’s next 26 points to help the Jayhawks carry a 61-56 lead into the final media timeout of the game.
Devon Dotson’s lone field goal of the second half was a big one as it gave the Jayhawks a two-possession lead with less than 2:30 to play in regulation. The freshman took Villanova’s Eric Paschall, who was saddled with four fouls, to the rim and gave the Jayhawks a 63-58 advantage.
From there, KU used some impressive free throw shooting to keep the Wildcats at arm’s length down the stretch. The Jayhawks posted an 11-of-12 clip from the charity stripe over the final 1:10 of regulation and got some key defensive stops over the last minute to seal the 74-71 win.
Vick closed out his fourth 20-point scoring effort of the season, scoring 29 points on 9-of-15 shooting, while Lawson tallied his sixth-consecutive 20-point outing, posting 28 points to go along with a game-high 12 rebounds. Dotson was the only other Jayhawk in double-figures, adding 11 points in 26 minutes.

QUOTES – Full Quotes
Head Coach Bill Self
Opening Statement:
“I don’t know if I’ve ever had a game where two guys scored 57 out of our 74 points. Obviously we need Doke (junior center Udoka Azubuike), it would be nice if we could get (sophomore forward) Silvio (De Sousa) and we’ve got to get (freshman guard) Quentin (Grimes) going. But to think that Devon gets 11 (points) and those three guys combined for 68 (total points) and the rest of the team gets six. So we’ve got some areas that we can improve in, but certainly, the way our guys competed defensively all day was tremendous. They made hard shots and you know everybody will talk about those three (Dedric Lawson, Vick and Dotson) but we (also) have Marcus Garrett; we (the team) get four steals, and he gets all four of them. He guards (Villanova redshirt senior forward Eric) Pashcall and does an unbelievable job on him with the size advantage. It was just a great, great team win and a great atmosphere, like you said.” 

On Lagerald Vick’s play today:
“You know, he was great. You know you get good Lagerald sometimes and then you get not quite as good Lagerald (other times). This was good Lagerald today, he was terrific. He was aggressive looking for his shot, defensively he was engaged, (he) missed a couple of blockouts and they dunked it over our heads and he has got to do a better job with that. But for he and Dedric not to be subbed for and Marcus the whole game. I mean they played 37 (Garrett), 38 (Lawson), 39 (Vick) and the two guards got into foul trouble and we couldn’t play Devon (Dotson) in the first half with two (fouls) because Q (freshman guard Quentin Grimes) got his third (foul). We can’t play both of them or we wouldn’t have them for the second half. So we kind of pieced it together and played really well and had a bad last two minutes of the first half but other than that, (today’s game was a) pretty solid performance.”

On Marcus Garrett’s defensive impact:
“Yeah, he is a good player. If he had a consistent stroke, he would be our best player; I mean all-around player. He can play and he’s got fast hands and he’s tough and does all the right things. Someone we haven’t mentioned yet, Mitch Lightfoot, gave us some great minutes too. It’s a hard game for Mitch to play (in) if you’re going to play Dedric because they played small and they played five guards a lot of the time together. Those guys did a good job getting (the ball) out to shooters.”

RS-Junior Dedric Lawson
On sophomore guard Marcus Garrett’s defensive performance today:
“Garrett was great defensively. He stopped (Eric) Paschall, he slowed him down. Paschall started off fast, he had seven points in the first eight minutes, but Garrett just stayed with him. Garrett was the only person on the team with four steals. When you look at the stat sheet, he only had one point, but he does so much for this team. He’s so valuable to us. Things like that really don’t go unnoticed in my eyes.”

On what it means to beat Villanova after last year’s Final Four loss:
“I know it means a lot to a lot of people. I know a lot of people came to this game because they wanted to see us beat Villanova. The last three times we’ve played Villanova, they’ve beaten us, and I just wanted to win one for Coach (Self) and for the guys and the fans out there that got up at 11 a.m. (on a Saturday) to go to a college basketball game.”
NOTABLES – Full Notes

  • The win gave Kansas its 39th-straight win in Allen Fieldhouse when ranked No. 1 by Associated Press and is now 47-3 overall.
  • The victory also made Kansas 3-0 against Top-25 foes this season. The Jayhawks are 93-45 against ranked opponents under Bill Self
  • Despite a season-low 35 rebounds, Kansas outrebounded Villanova by 9, as the Wildcats tallied just 26 rebounds, the fewest by a Kansas opponent this season. 
  • A Dedric Lawson layup with 5:01 remaining gave Kansas a 57-56 lead, Kansas is now 418-15 under Bill Self when leading at the 5:00 mark. 
  • Kansas forced Villanova to go cold in the remaining minutes of the game, the Wildcats finished one for its final 10 shots behind the arc.
  • The Jayhawks were clutch at the line down the stretch, combining to go 11-of-12 in the final 1:10 of the game. 
  • Vick and Lawson’s combined 57-points were the most by a KU duo since February 15, 2013 when Elijah Johnson (39) and Travis Releford (19) combined for 58-points in an overtime win at Iowa State.
  • Vick and Lawson combined for a 19-30 (63.3%) clip from the field while the rest of the Jayhawks were 4-of-16 (25%)
  • Kansas posted a season best 76.7 percent free throw percentage while making a season high 23 from the line. The Jayhawks entered the day with the Big 12’s worst free throw percentage at 64.2%
  • The Jayhawks held Villanova scoreless off the bench marking the first time a KU opponent has had zero points off the bench since Kansas defeated Oklahoma State 81-66 on February 11, 2012.
  • Phillip Booth’s 29-point performance marked the most points and field goals by a KU opponent on the season.
  • Villanova’s 28.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc was a season low in games they’ve posted 20 or more attempts.
  • Villanova was held without a bench point for the first time this season.
  • Dedric Lawson recorded his league-leading sixth double-double of the season, and the 42nd of his career
  • Lawson’s 6-straight 20-point outing is the second-longest in the Bill Self era behind Frank Mason III’s streak of seven straight 20-point games from February 27-March 25, 2017. In fact, those are Kansas’ only two streaks of six games or more since Raef LaFrentz had nine straight 20-point games from January 26-February 22, 1997
  • Lagerald Vick snapped his cold streak, the senior scored 29 points on the day marking his fourth game with 20+ points this year. Vick attempted just 15 shots while adding 7 rebounds and one assist
  • Vick tied his career high in free throws made with eight, as well as free throws attempted at 10
  • In his five outings at Allen Fieldhouse this season, Vick has shot 42-of 67 from the field (63.7 percent), including a 21-of-41 mark from 3-point range (51.2 percent), and is averaging 24.2 points per game on James Naismith Court this season.

Kansas will welcome the South Dakota Coyotes to Allen Fieldhouse on Tuesday, Dec. 18 for a 7 p.m. contest on Jayhawk TV and ESPN+. KU will then head to the southwest to take on the Arizona State Sun Devils on Dec. 22. Tip-off from Tempe is slated for 8 p.m. (CT) on ESPN2.