No. 2 Kansas Hands NU First Home Loss

Second-ranked Kansas handed the Nebraska basketball team its first home loss of the season, 86-66 in front of a sellout crowd of 13,602 at the Bob Devaney Sports Center Saturday afternoon.

The Huskers (15-7, 3-5 Big 12) saw their home winning streak snapped at 14, two shy of the school record, while Kansas improved to 22-1 overall and 7-1 in league play. The Jayhawks used an efficient shooting night to score the most points Nebraska has allowed this season and become the first team to score 70 points at the Devaney Center this season.

Kansas knocked down 55.6 percent of its shots, including a 13-of-24 effort from 3-point range. The 13 3-pointers were a season high for the Jayhawks and marked the most threes Nebraska has allowed this season. Nebraska shot 45.2 percent, including 7-of-20 from beyond the arc.

Four Jayhawks reached double figures, led by Brady Morningstar's 19 points that included hitting 5-of-7 from the 3-point line. Markieff Morris added 17 points and his brother Marcus added 16 points and a game-high seven rebounds.

For the Huskers, junior Brandon Richardson scored 16 points to lead four Huskers in double figures. Junior Toney McCray added 11 points, while junior Caleb Walker and senior Lance Jeter each scored 10. Jeter also dished out a season-high 10 assists to pick up a double-double.

Kansas built a 42-34 halftime lead behind strong 3-point shooting. The Jayhawks hit five of their first eight shots from behind the arc, including three 3-pointers during an 11-2 run that gave them an early 20-10 lead. KU then knocked down its final two 3-pointers of the half to help turn a two-point lead into an eight-point halftime advantage.

The Jayhawks shot 55.6 percent from the field in the first half, including hitting 7-of-12 from beyond the arc. Kansas scored the game's first five points and led by at least two the rest of the half. With the Jayhawks connecting early from long distance a pair of 3-pointers from sophomore Brandon Ubel and Walker kept the Huskers close before KU's 11-2 run made it a 10-point game.

Following a timeout, Nebraska scored seven straight points in a little more than a minute of play to cut the lead to three. Nebraska continued to trail by three with less than eight minutes left in the half following a 3-pointer from McCray. The Huskers then pulled within two at 32-30 on a layup from sophomore Jorge Brian Diaz five minutes later before the Jayhawks closed the period on a 10-2 run.

Kansas' hot shooting continued in the second half, when the Jayhawks again shot 55.6 percent. The Jayhawks also went 6-of-12 from the 3-point line in the final 20 minutes, while knocking down 18-of-26 second-half free throws. Nebraska hit only 9-of-25 second-half shots, including only 3-of-11 from beyond the arc.

Richardson kept the Huskers close to open the second half. He scored seven straight points for NU in the first three minutes of the half to cut the deficit to 44-41. Kansas answered with back-to-back 3-pointers from Marcus Morris and Morningstar to spark an 8-0 run that gave the Jayhawks a 52-41 lead.

The teams then traded scoring runs over the next six minutes. A 6-0 Husker run cut the lead to five before Kansas answered with six straight points of its own. NU then strung together a 5-0 run that was answered by a 7-0 spurt that gave the Jayhawks a 67-54 advantage with 9:02 remaining.

The 7-0 spurt was part of a larger 15-3 run that turned a six-point game at the 10-minute mark into a 75-57 KU lead with under five minutes remaining. Nebraska would get no closer than 14 the rest of the way.

Nebraska returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 9 when the Huskers travel to Baylor. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be televised live by the Big 12 Network and also carried on the Husker Sports Network.


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