Kansas Once Again Beats Texas for the Big 12

The hot-shooting Jayhawks were too much for the Texas Longhorns to handle. Kansas took the Big 12 Tournament for the third year in a row, winning 84-74 in the conference championship game.

Box score

In each of the last two Big 12 Championship games, Kansas (31-3) topped Texas (28-6) to take the Big 12 crown. Sunday afternoon was no different, with the Jayhawks winning 84-74.

Both teams rained threes throughout the entire contest. Texas hit 12 and the Jayhawks hit a conference tournament-record 15, but Kansas was just a step ahead when it came to shooting, topping the Horns in field goal percentage (49.1 percent to 40.6 percent) and three point percentage (60 percent to 42.9 percent).

Kansas was deadly from the outside, but Texas had just as much trouble controlling the Jayhawks in the paint. KU had a 42-29 advantage in rebounding.

"I don't think 15 threes beat us," said Texas head coach Rick Barnes. "I think we got beat with not rebounding the ball at crucial times."

The main area where Texas held a significant advantage was in turnovers. Kansas turned the ball over 10 times in the game, while Texas had only three. D.J. Augustin had only one turnover compared to his nine assists. The sophomore point guard led Texas with 20 points and he wasn't the only Longhorn with a solid game on the offensive end. Justin Mason scored 17, A.J. Abrams put up 15 and Damion James added 13 points of his own. Unfortunately for Texas, the rest of the roster did not play as well on offense. The Horns got only two points and three rebounds from the entire bench.

The Longhorns are now 0-5 in Big 12 Championship games.

It was a competitive game for most of the contest, but over the final 4:25, Kansas retook the lead and outscored the Horns 14-3. All three of Texas' final points came on free throws. The last Longhorn field goal of the game came with almost five minutes remaining.

"I don't think they wore us out. I think two days wore us out," said Barnes. "D.J. played 40 minutes. I didn't want to do that."

Kansas' Mario Chalmers, on the other hand, was unstoppable from start to finish. The junior guard finished with a career-high 30 points and hit eight three-pointers, perhaps none bigger than with 1:45 to go when he gave the Jayhawks a 75-71 lead, sparking the late run. Chalmers, however, said the performance of his team from top to bottom made the difference, including getting 16 points from the bench, compared to Texas' two.

"We were talking about it yesterday, that we were going to need a big game from everybody and I think everybody continued to step up today," said Chalmers.

Now, it's on to Little Rock, Ark. for the Longhorns. Texas is a two-seed in the South bracket of the NCAA Tournament. The Horns' first round opponent is 15-seed Austin Peay (24-10), whom they play on Friday.


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