Minutemen Surprise Jayhawks, 61-60

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A comeback effort fell short for the 25th-ranked Kansas basketball team as the Jayhawks fell to Massachusetts 61-60 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City on Saturday afternoon.

The loss dropped KU to 7-2 on the season, while UMass improved to 3-6.
 
Trailing 61-60 Kansas had the game’s final possession after a UMass timeout with 13.3 second remaining.  Sherron Collins drove the lane and had his scooping layup attempt roll off the rim.  KU got the rebound on a scramble, but did not have enough time to put up a final shot.
 
UMass led 61-57 after Chris Lowe made the first of two free throws with 36 seconds left in the game.  However, Collins, who was six of 19 shooting, including 0-of-six from three-point range at that point, drilled a long three-pointer to pull KU within 61-60 with just 27.8 seconds left in the contest.
 
Lowe went to the free throw line again for UMass with 20.4 seconds left and missed both free throws to set up KU’s final possession.
 
Ricky Harris led UMass with 18 points, including 14 in the first half.  Collins led the Jayhawks with 19 points, while Cole Aldrich was the only other KU player in double figures with 12 points.  Aldrich recorded his fifth double-double in the last six games by adding 13 rebounds.
 
Kansas suffered through its worst shooting night of the year, as the Jayhawks made just 33.9 percent of their field goal attempts, including a five-of-23 mark from three-point range.  KU’s previous low shooting night this season was 41.9 percent in a loss to Syracuse, a game which was also played in the Sprint Center.
 
KU’s starters hit just 16-of -51 field goal attempts.  Aldrich made five-of-eight shots, but the rest of his starting teammates made just 11-of-43 shots in the game.  Collins finished six-of-21 and one-of-seven from three-point range.  However, the junior guard made six-of-eight free throws, while playing 38 minutes.
 
During the majority of the game coach Bill Self utilized a veteran lineup as Aldrich, Collins, Brady Morningstar, Connor Teahan and Tyrell Reed all played more than their average minutes, while freshmen Marcus Morris, Markieff Morris, Tyshawn Taylor, Quintrell Thomas and Travis Releford, all saw fewer minutes than average.
 
The Jayhawks out-rebounded UMass 43-31, but allowed the visitors to shoot 45.8 percent from the field, including 55.6 percent in the first half.
 
Collins layup with 13 and one-half minutes left in the game tied the game at 43 as part of a 9-1 run by KU.  The Jayhawks then took the lead for the first time since leading 15-14 when Tyrell Reed knocked in a three-pointer to give KU a 46-45 advantage with 12 and one half minutes left.
 
However, UMass, which led the majority of the game responded with five straight points and never trailed the rest of the way.
 
Kansas needed a late run to make it close in the first half as the Jayhawks suffered through a rough shooting half.  KU led 15-14 before UMass went on a 12-0 run to pull ahead 26-15.
 
KU responded with three free throws, but the visitors scored six straight points to lead 32-18.  Then down 34-20 Tyrell Reed sparked a 10-0 Kansas run with a three-pointer for KU’s first basket in seven minutes and 14 seconds.
 
Teahan converted a traditional three-point play and Collins and Morningstar added free throws to pull KU within 34-30 before UMass closed the half with a late basket to take a 36-30 lead into the lockerroom.
 
Cole Aldrich had made three of five field goal attempts in the first half, while the rest of the Jayhawks were a combined five-of-23.  UMass meanwhile hit 55.6 percent from the field, including making five-of-11 three-pointers.  KU was just 28.6 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, including just two of nine from three-point range.
 
KU out-rebounded UMass 24-11 in the first half, but 10 Jayhawk turnovers led to 15 points for the Minutemen.
 
Kansas will take a full week off for finals before returning to the court on Saturday, Dec. 20 when it hosts Temple in Allen Fieldhouse at 1:30 p.m.  The game will be televised on ESPN2.

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