🏀 No. 2 Kansas Rallies for 75-71 Win at Indiana
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Kevin McCullar Jr. scored 21 points, including four crucial free throws in the final minute, and Hunter Dickinson had 17 points and 14 rebounds as No. 2 Kansas rallied in the second half for a 75-71 win at Indiana on Saturday.
The Jayhawks, who picked up their first victory at Assembly Hall, trailed by as many as 13 points and did not take their first lead of the game until Dickinson scored in the post to make it 62-61 with 4:53 remaining in the contest.
“It’s a long game,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “It was a great win in a great atmosphere. The last time I came here I met John Mellencamp. That’s probably my fondest memory of this place up until today. This place reminds me of KU history and tradition. Two true blue bloods out there.”
After a spinning bank shot from Dajuan Harris Jr., Kansas jumped in front 71-66 with 1:11 left. After a defensive stop, Indiana’s Trey Galloway missed an off-balance three-pointer from the right wing that would have given Indiana the lead with 23 seconds left.
McCullar, who went 13-of-16 (81.3 percent) from the line, knocked down two free throws following a foul to make it 73-69. After Ware’s put-back with 9.4 seconds left got Indiana within two again, McCullar returned to the line and made two more to seal the win in Kansas’ first true road game of the season.
“They gave us a great shot,” said Dickinson, who said he embraced the boos he used to hear in Assembly Hall as a visiting player for Michigan and heard again Saturday as a member of his new team. “I could probably save a baby out here and they’d still boo me the next day.”
Indiana played without starting point guard and third-leading scorer Xavier Johnson for the fourth straight game due to what the team describes as a lower-body injury.
Galloway scored a career-high 28 points for Indiana, Mackenzie Mbako had 14, Malik Reneau finished with 13, and Kel’el Ware added 11 points and 15 rebounds.
KJ Adams Jr. had 14 points for Kansas, which shot 43% from the field to the Hoosiers’ 42%. Harris contributed 12 points and five assists. Kansas is now 27-1 when Harris scores in double figures.
Kansas: Having already banked wins over Kentucky, Tennessee and Connecticut, the Jayhawks proved their new-look identity centered around Dickinson is clicking on all cylinders. In a matchup of two blue blood programs, Kansas survived a raucous environment with poise and execution down the stretch.
Indiana: When the Hoosiers have been successful in recent years, it’s been because their big guys are wearing out opponents in the paint. Reneau and Ware entered Saturday averaging 31.5 points per game, more than 40% of Indiana’s output as a team. On Saturday, the wing positions carried the offense. The two starters – Mbako and Galloway – combined for 34 points, easily surpassing their previous season high of 28.
Kansas: The Jayhawks will have had five days’ rest by the time they return to action Friday, Dec. 22 at home against Yale.
Indiana: The Hoosiers have a chance to quickly move on with another home game Tuesday against Morehead State.