University of Kansas

Kansas struggles past Texas Tech 69-59

Kansas forward Landen Lucas, left, blocks a by Texas Tech guard Jordan Jackson on Saturday in Lubbock, Texas.
Kansas forward Landen Lucas, left, blocks a by Texas Tech guard Jordan Jackson on Saturday in Lubbock, Texas. Associated Press

With just under 11 minutes to play in the second half, Bill Self crossed his arms in front of the Kansas bench and surveyed a mess unfolding before him.

Self’s Jayhawks had led by as many as 10 points in the second half, and now the lead was crumbling. Texas Tech was charging, burying jumper after jumper. The noise inside United Supermarkets Arena had hit a crescendo.

Five days after a classic, No. 1 Kansas was mired in something altogether different, a slogging, fragmented, disheveled, whistle-heavy basketball game on a Saturday night in Lubbock. This was not beautiful or epic or any of the adjectives used to describe the Jayhawks’ triple-overtime victory over Oklahoma at Allen Fieldhouse.

This was a bare-knuckled street fight, and come to think of it, this was the perfect environment for Kansas’ Frank Mason, a junior guard who could double as a middleweight. Mason finished with 17 points, coming up clutch in the second half as the Jayhawks survived a scare and closed out a 69-59 victory in their first Big 12 road game.

Mason drilled three three-pointers during the second half — and junior guard Wayne Selden would add another big one with 2 minutes left — as the Jayhawks won their 13th straight and improved to 14-1 overall and 3-0 in the Big 12.

The Jayhawks will continue their road swing on Tuesday night at West Virginia, which improved to 3-0 on Saturday in a home victory over Oklahoma State.

Five days removed from Monday’s triple-overtime victory over No. 2 Oklahoma, Kansas returned to the floor Saturday night at United Supermarkets Arena. Once upon a time, this building had been a yearly nemesis for Self and his program. From 2005 to 2009, the Jayhawks dropped three straight games at what was then called United Spirit Arena.

The losses included a double-overtime thriller and a 19-point humbling, but as the years passed, and the Texas Tech program slipped into the abyss, the Jayhawks restored order, taking five straight games in Lubbock.

That set up Saturday night, as the best Texas Tech team in years welcomed the No. 1 team to town. The Red Raiders, 11-2, had opened Big 12 play with a home victory over Texas and a respectable road loss at Iowa State.

And for a moment, it appeared the Curse of Lubbock was ready to surface. The Jayhawks hit seven of their first 23 shots from the field and piled up seven turnovers in the opening 15 minutes. Hunter Mickelson and Landen Lucas each picked up two early fouls as Self turned to his usual parade of big men, playing all six before the second media timeout.

Somehow, though, the Jayhawks still led 29-27 at halftime, despite receiving zero from Selden and finishing the half with nine turnovers. With its offense bogged down and the opening half dominated by whistles, Kansas locked down on defense. The Jayhawks held Texas Tech to 31 percent shooting in the opening half and then watched as the Red Raiders missed seven of 14 from the foul line.

The Jayhawks’ stingy defense continued into the second half. From the sideline, Self pleaded with his team to focus in and get stops. By the end, his players had obliged. Texas Tech shot just 41 percent on the night and made just nine of 19 from the free throw line. Self breathed a sigh of relief.

And Kansas will hold ont o its No. 1 ranking for another week.

Rustin Dodd: @rustindodd

KANSAS

Min

FG-A

FT-A

Reb

A

PF

PT

Mason III

31

3-8

8-8

1-10

5

1

17

Selden Jr

33

4-13

0-0

0-2

2

2

9

Graham

30

1-6

2-2

0-4

2

1

4

Ellis

31

7-16

0-0

5-10

2

1

15

Mickelson

5

1-1

0-0

0-0

0

2

2

Mykhailiuk

14

2-3

1-2

0-2

0

1

7

Diallo

3

0-0

0-0

0-1

0

0

0

Greene

11

2-3

0-0

0-4

0

2

6

Bragg Jr

14

2-3

0-0

2-3

0

2

4

Traylor

12

0-1

0-0

0-2

0

3

0

Lucas

16

1-1

3-4

1-2

2

3

5

Totals

200

23-55

14-16

10-42

13

18

69

Percentages: FG .418, FT .875. 3-Point Goals: 9-22, .409 (Mason III 3-6, Mykhailiuk 2-3, Greene 2-3, Ellis 1-1, Selden Jr. 1-7, Graham 0-2). Team Rebounds: 2. Blocked Shots: 3 (Traylor, Ellis, Lucas). Turnovers: 15 (Ellis 3, Bragg Jr. 3, Greene 3, Traylor 2, Mason III 2, Graham, Selden Jr.). Steals: 4 (Mason III, Mykhailiuk, Graham, Selden Jr.). Technical Fouls: None.

TEXAS TECH

Min

FG-A

FT-A

Reb

A

PF

PT

Williams

25

1-8

2-4

0-0

1

1

4

Smith

31

2-7

1-4

2-6

0

1

5

Evans

23

0-3

1-3

0-4

2

2

1

Gotcher

32

5-12

1-2

1-2

2

1

13

Odiase

29

7-11

0-1

0-3

1

2

14

Thomas

16

1-3

0-0

0-3

3

1

2

Gray

23

4-7

2-3

2-3

0

1

10

Ross

12

2-3

2-2

0-0

1

4

7

Temple

9

1-2

0-0

1-2

0

2

3

Totals

200

23-56

9-19

7-26

10

15

59

Percentages: FG .411, FT .474. 3-Point Goals: 4-16, .250 (Gotcher 2-7, Temple 1-1, Ross 1-2, Thomas 0-1, Williams 0-2, Smith 0-3). Team Rebounds: 3. Blocked Shots: 3 (Ross, Smith, Gray). Turnovers: 9 (Odiase 2, Evans 2, Thomas 2, Williams, Gray). Steals: 7 (Gray 2, Smith 2, Thomas, Gotcher, Evans). Technical Fouls: None.

Kansas

29

40

69

Texas Tech

27

32

59

A—14,231. Officials—Gary Maxwell, Bert Smith, Michael Greenstein.

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