No. 18 Arizona State shocks No. 1 Kansas, 80-76

TEMPE, Ariz. – Just a single field goal over the final seven minutes of regulation spelled doom for No. 1/1 Kansas as the Jayhawks fell to No. 18/19 Arizona State, 80-76, Saturday night inside Wells Fargo Arena. KU’s Dedric Lawson led all scorers with a season-high 30 points and posted his eighth double-double of the season, but a 15-4 Sun Devil run over the final 4:48 was too much for the visitors as the top-ranked Jayhawks suffered their first loss of the season.
Kansas, playing in its first true road game of the young season, dropped to 10-1, while the Sun Devils moved to 9-2.
It was all Kansas and all Lawson in the opening 20 minutes, as the KU forward scored 18 of his 30 points to help the Jayhawks take an eight-point lead into the locker room. He connected on eight of his ten first-half tries from the field, including a 3-pointer at the 3:42 mark, which put the Jayhawks ahead by 12 points, 39-27, its largest lead of the game.
It was a positive start to the second frame for KU, which grew its lead back to double-figures, 41-31, less than 20 seconds into the half. However, Lawson picked up two quick fouls and was forced to exit less than four minutes into the period. After KU’s leading scorer went to the bench, ASU slowly began to fight its way back into the game. The Sun Devils used a quick 6-0 spurt to cut the KU lead to three points, 43-40, still with 16 minutes to play in regulation.
Both teams would trade baskets over the next 10 minutes, with Kansas not seeing its lead get smaller than five points in that span. But back-to-back triples from Arizona State’s Rob Edwards cut the KU edge down to 67-65 with six minutes to play and got the Sun Devils as close as the had been all game. Just a minute later though, Lagerald Vick answered with a four-point play, converting on a 3-pointer of his own to go along with a foul shot, and for the moment, it seemed the Jayhawks had regained the momentum as they led 72-65 with just under five minutes to go.
But that Vick 3-pointer would be the Jayhawks’ final field goal of the game as the Sun Devils managed to come up with some key stops and convert on some late free throws to end the contest on a 15-4 run. Kansas had two chances in the final minute to tie or take the lead but the Jayhawks turned it over on both trips down the floor. Arizona State took advantage and closed out the upset, claiming its second win over the Jayhawks in as many years, 80-76.
In addition to Lawson’s 30-point outing, his highest of the season, Vick and Devon Dotson joined their teammate in double-figures, scoring 14 and 12 points, respectively. Despite posting a season-best 94 percent clip (15-of-16) from the free throw line, Kansas allowed a 32 ASU free throw attempts, which the Sun Devils converted into 20 points.
QUOTES – Full Quotes
Head Coach Bill Self
Opening statement: 
“They were much better than us in the second half and we were much better than them in the first half. We obviously didn’t close the game well at all and our defense wasn’t any good. They got what they wanted and obviously Remy (Martin) made a couple of hard shots and No. 2 (Rob Edwards) came in and he wasn’t good, he was great. He’s a fifth-year kid and he scored about 10 straight, nine straight for sure, and brought them back. I think he made a three to give them a one-point lead and then we tied it up. I mean, we executed so poorly down the stretch, we got to get the big fella back in there so that way we can run some more stuff.”

On Dedric Lawson’s night:
“He was terrific, there’s no question about that, but, when we’re not making shots he has got to touch it every time and we’re not. We had some individuals that aren’t making shots and still kept shooting. Which, it’s good to have confidence and to keep firing, but not at game point, and he had to get a touch every possession and we didn’t do that. It was a game in which I think we can learn a lot from, at least I hope we can. It’s a game that I felt like, it’s Christmas and we were in the giving spirit because that was our game and we let it get away.”

On entering Christmas break with a loss:
“It sucks but the sky is not falling. We’ll break and let everybody spend some time with their families and reconvene on the 26th and hopefully get our batteries recharged. Even though there is no excuse for blowing a lead, on everybody’s part – coaches, players – we have had to fight harder than what we probably anticipated fighting in the nonconference. We’re a tired team so we need to get our batteries recharged.”
NOTABLES – Full Notes

  • The loss made Kansas 10-1, ending a 10-game winning streak, the longest at KU since the 2016-17 season
  • The loss also ended a KU three-game winning streak in nonconference true road games, giving KU its first true non-league road loss since Dec. 22, 2014, at Temple
  • Arizona State now has a 6-5 series advantage against Kansas, including a 4-0 mark in games played in Tempe 
  • KU led 72-65 with five minutes remaining, marking just the 16th time in the Bill Self era the Jayhawks have lost when leading with 5:00 left in regulation. Kansas is now 419-16 in the last 16 seasons in those instances.
  • Kansas set season highs in 3-point field goal attempts (28), free throw percentage (93.8) and turnovers (16).
  • When ranked No. 1 in the country, Kansas dropped its all-time record to 33-11 when on the road. The Jayhawks are 50-61 (82.0 percent) from the free throw line in their last three contests.
  • KU posted a season low in field goal percentage (41.5 percent).
  • With the Jayhawks’ largest lead of 12 points, the loss marked the largest lead blown in a KU loss since Iowa State came back from a 15-point deficit to beat Kansas in Lawrence on Feb. 4, 2017.
  • The KU bench managed just five points, a season low. ASU’s bench, on the other hand, scored 26, the second-most in 2018-19 by a KU opponent after South Dakota’s bench put in 30 of the team’s 53 total points on Tuesday night (12/18).
  • Arizona State’s 32 free throw attempts were the most by a KU opponent since Dec. 3, 2016, when Stanford shot 37 charities in a Jayhawk win in Lawrence.
    Won its first game at home when playing the No. 1-ranked team in the country.
  • The win gave ASU just its second victory over a No.1 team in school history, having previously beat then-No. 1 Oregon State in Corvallis (3/7/81). The Sun Devils are now 2-8 all-time playing against the nation’s No. 1-ranked team.  
  • Took its first lead of the game with just 2:23 remaining to be played in the game, after a 3-pointer by Rob Edwards.
  • RS-Junior forward Dedric Lawson led all scorers with a season-high 30 points.
  • Lawson posted his eighth double-double, fourth-straight, of the season by pulling down 14 rebounds. 
  • Of those 14 total rebounds, he tied his season high with 12 on the defensive glass.
  • Scored 18 of his 30 points in the first half on 8-of-10 shooting from the field, which tied him for second all-time for most individual field goals made in a half with Malik Newman (vs. Oklahoma State, 3/8/18).

After a short holiday break, Kansas returns to Allen Fieldhouse to host Eastern Michigan on Dec. 29, to close out the calendar year.
This will be the first meeting between Kansas and Eastern Michigan in men’s basketball. Kansas is 14-1 against current membership of the Mid-American Conference (MAC): 3-0 vs. Ohio, 3-0 vs. Toledo, 2-1 vs. Ball State, 2-0 vs. Kent State, 2-0 vs. Miami (Ohio), 1-0 vs. Bowling Green and 1-0 vs. Western Michigan.



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