Jayhawks Rough Up 'Horns

Texas trailed by double digits for the final 29 minutes of its 73-47 loss at Kansas.

In the first meeting between Texas and Kansas, freshman forward Ioannis Papapetrou said the Longhorns "played a really good game for 36 minutes" before falling 64-59.

"In the last four minutes of the game, we basically gave the game away," Papapetrou said before adding, "the case wasn't like that today."

This time, the game was settled early, with the Longhorns' chances buried beneath an avalanche of missed shots and turnovers. When longtime Longhorn broadcaster Craig Way started his segment with Texas coach Rick Barnes "Texas falls to Kansas, 73-47," Barnes retorted, "I don't think that's a strong enough word, Craig: 'Falls.'"

Indeed, Texas finished with more turnovers (16) than made field goals (12) and needed a late burst against the Kansas walk-ons to avoid the lowest scoring output in Texas's Big 12 history, topping the 43-point mark with two free throws with 30 seconds left to play. That came shortly after Kansas coach Bill Self's son, a Jayhawk walk-on, hit a driving shot to give the Jayhawks 73 points. That caused Barnes to joke with the Kansas coach afterward that he didn't know he was going to use his son to run up the score.

Jokes aside, this wasn't the performance that Texas was hoping for, especially following the double-overtime win over Iowa State in point guard Myck Kabongo's season-opener. Texas continued to get open looks at times in the first half, but weren't able to capitalize, shooting just 5-for-26, or 19 percent. And that was when the Longhorns shot the ball at all. Down double-digits, Texas committed shot-clock violations on consecutive possessions. Texas trailed 28-15 at halftime, in a score that might have been worse if not for the Longhorns continuing to play strong defense themselves, holding Kansas to 36 percent shooting from the field.

The plan, according to the Longhorn players afterward, was to pound the ball inside. But Texas didn't follow along.

"The outside shots just kept getting open," said Connor Lammert. "We just couldn't knock them down."

Nor would they. For the game, Texas made just 2-of-21 shots from distance, connecting at a 9.5 percent rate. But they didn't fare much better inside, making just 10-of-34 (29.4 percent) of their two-point attempts.

"You can't coach making shots," Barnes said. "Guys have to make it.

"All the things we talked about that we wanted to do, we didn't do," Barnes said. "I think we have to give them credit with their defense, but we had a lot of looks that we would have liked to make. But you have to make them."

Meanwhile, the Jayhawks were able to get out on the break in the second half, shooting a blistering 57.1 percent from the field as a team in the second stanza. Elijah Johnson scored Kansas's first seven points, pushing the lead to 18 at the first media timeout. Texas never got within 16 again, with the lead swelling to 35 points at its apex in front of a rowdy crowd buoyed by the day's College Gameday performance, as well as the retirement of former guard Mario Chalmers's jersey.

"We went up to Michigan State earlier in the year, we got a little taste of what it would be like," Lammert said of the crowd noise. "But I think after a while we just kind of got used to it. At the end of the day, it definitely came down to just the 10 guys on this court."

Kansas went up 20-9 on a Kevin Young layup with nine minutes left in the first half, and Texas trailed by double digits the rest of the game.

Kansas's guard quartet of Johnson, Naadir Tharpe, Ben McLemore and Travis Releford dished out 13 assists to just three turnovers. Releford and Jeff Withey paced the Jayhawks with 15 points apiece, with Withey also blocking two shots to break Chris Mihm's Big 12 career blocked shots record. Withey also added 11 rebounds and four steals in a dominant defensive performance. McLemore added 13 points and three assists, while Johnson had 12 points and four assists.

Kabongo led the Longhorns with 13 points, though he shot just 2-of-10 from the field — he was 9-of-10 from the free throw line — and he finished with no assists to three turnovers. The 'Horns had just three assists as a team.

Kansas (21-4, 9-3) maintained a three-way tie at the top of the Big 12 standings with Kansas State and Oklahoma State. Texas (11-14, 3-9) will next be in action at TCU on Tuesday. That tip off is set for 7 p.m. CT.

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