In a game that decided the fate of the Big Twelve Championship, the Kansas Jayhawks survived the Texas Longhorns Saturday, March 3. Stumbling in the first, the Jayhawks came up big in the second securing their 1,900th win in Allen Field House, 90-86.
The Jayhawks came out quick against the Longhorns with Julian Wright hitting the nylon with two quick baskets. Longhorn T.J. Augustine hit a two-spot to give Texas theirs but drew a foul, making his lone attempt. Augustine’s three points sparked an eight-point run with five points coming from Kevin Durant.
Durant appeared unstoppable, drilling home 25 points against the Jayhawks in the first half of play. Durant hit five three-pointers, shooting 100 percent beyond the arch.
Kansas struggled against the high paced offense of the Longhorns as the lead separated by as much as 16 points for the Longhorns. The Jayhawks showed some strong defensive skills as three shots in a row got stuffed on Texas but the offensive tidal wave was too much.
Points flew on the scoreboard for the Longhorns as Durant, Augustine, and A.J. Abrams teamed up to steamroll the Jayhawks defense with the long-ball.
Kansas was able to string together seven points when Durant got a break but floundered when he came back in. As Head Coach Bill Self, led his team into the locker room, the Jayhawks trailed 42-54.
Kansas charged out of the locker room hard against the Longhorns, completely revitalized and ready to play. Sasha Kaun and Wright established strong rebounding on the Longhorns side of the court while Chalmers electrified Allen Field House connecting on three-pointers. Brandon Rush began zeroing in on the basket, nailing them outside the arch while Wright and Russell Robinson teamed up on a couple of slam dunks.
The Jayhawks held Texas to only free throws for almost five minutes until Abrams finally broke free for two. On the ensuing possession Texas fans fell silent as Durant charged into the paint grossly twisting his ankles as he put up the ball. Obviously in pain, Durant was escorted into the locker room setting the stage for Kansas’ dramatic comeback. Kansas took advantage of the loss of Durant establishing some distance between them and the Longhorns. Kansas led by ten points before Durant finally came out of the locker room, reentering the game.
Durant was slower moving up and down the court and took fewer chances when trying to make shots. Kansas held him to seven points in the second half. As time ticked away the Longhorns battled back and closed within two. The Longhorns forced a couple of turnovers and were able to capitalize by hitting a two and three point shot but could get no closer then four.
Kansas brought the ball back down the court and controlled the clock forcing Texas to commit three fouls. As the final buzzer sounded, the Jayhawks extended their winning streak to eight.
Texas come into the game having won in double overtime on Wednesday against Texas A and M. With the loss Texas’ six game win streak came to an end.
James 4-7 4-4 12
Durant 13-22 0-0 32
Abrams 6-17 1-1 18
Augustine 7-14 3-4 19
Mason 1-6 0-0 3
Kaun 3-6 3-3 9
Wright 8-14 1-2 17
Robinson 5-9 4-7 17
Chalmers 7-9 2-4 21
Rush 5-12 2-2 15