LAWRENCE, Kan. — Texas will have to wait another year to steal a win at Allen Fieldhouse after getting pummeled 73-47 by Kansas on Saturday night.
The Longhorns made only two of their 21 three-point attempts and committed 16 turnovers in a game that could have ended up a lot worse for Texas. The loss drops the Longhorns to six games behind the Jayhawks (21-4, 9-3) in the Big 12 standings and to an overall record of 11-14 on the year. The Longhorns have lost all six of their Big 12 road games.
“Guys get away mentally from what we want to get done,” head coach Rick Barnes said. “That’s the thing that bothers me. Kansas is as good as anyone when they make shots.”
Texas’ 21.8-percent mark shooting the ball marks the worst shooting percentage in the Barnes era.
“You can’t coach making shots,” Barnes said. “All the things we talked about that we wanted to do, we didn’t do.”
Myck Kabongo scored a team-high 13 points with nine of those points coming from the free-throw line. Connor Lammert had seven points in the first half but scored just two more points before fouling out with under four minutes left in the game. After showing some signs of improvement in recent games, freshmen Demarcus Holland and Ioannis Papapetrou combined for just eight points. Fellow freshman Cameron Ridley missed on all five of his free throw attempts and, like Javan Felix, failed to score a single point.
The Jayhawks’ starters combined for 61 points, led by Jeff Withey and Travis Releford with 15 points each. Withey rounded out a double-double with 11 rebounds and two blocks, the second of which moved him in to sole possession of the Big 12 all-time block record with 265 career rejections. The record was previously held by Texas’ Chris Mihm.
“We had an emphasis on trying to get inside more but the outside shots kept coming open and we couldn’t make them,” Lammert said.
For much of the game the Jayhawks’ defensive pressure forced the Longhorns into hurried shots inside the lane, turnovers and eventually two shot-clock violations. Kabongo and Felix had several passes into the post tipped, leading to fast break opportunities for the Jayhawks.
“We did a good job making them uncomfortable shooting the ball in the second half,” Releford said.
Withey had a lot to do with Texas’ alarmingly low field goal percentage, but senior guard Elijah Johnson thinks the Jayhawks can get even more from the seven-footer.
“Frustration sets in for other teams when they have to take a detour around Jeff,” Johnson said. “We know how to use Jeff but right now we’re not doing it.”
Kansas scored 38 points in the paint, thanks in large part to Withey’s presence around the rim and Releford’s 4-of-5 night shooting from behind the three-point line. Freshman Ben McLemore picked Kabongo’s pocket late in the second half, taking the ball the length of the court and finishing with a 360-degree dunk that sent the home crowd in to all-out chaos.
A freshman on the other end of the talent spectrum from McLemore, walk-on Tyler Self, scored a basket with just under a minute to play which caused Allen Fieldhouse to roar even louder. Tyler, son of head coach Bill Self, was fouled on the play but would go on to miss the ensuing free throw attempt.
“That was a hard shot, but if he wouldn’t have gotten fouled it probably wouldn’t have had any chance to go in,” Self said. “I will probably hear at home how he needs to probably start getting more playing time.”
Texas will get another shot at its first road conference win when it takes on TCU in Fort Worth on Tuesday.
Published on February 18, 2013 as "Laugher in Lawrence".