No. 4 Kansas beats Texas A&M 66-58
Texas A&M was finally back to full strength on Wednesday
It wasn’t enough to get past No. 4 Kansas.
Elijah Johnson scored 21 points and Tyshawn Taylor made key
plays down the stretch to help Kansas fight off a late run by the
Aggies for a 66-58 victory.
Kansas (23-5, 13-2 Big 12) led by as many as 21 points in the
second half before a big run by the Aggies got them within striking
It was the first game in month where the Aggies played with top
players Khris Middleton and Dash Harris, who both missed
significant time this season with injuries.
”It was just good to be out there tonight with my teammates,”
Harris said. ”I just wanted to wait until I was healthy enough to
do some of the things I do best, which is run the floor, play hard
defensively. And I think I was able to do some of those things
A 3-pointer by Harris cut the Kansas lead to four points, but
Taylor made the first of two free throws to leave Kansas ahead
61-56 with about a minute remaining.
Johnson added a free throw before Thomas Robinson fouled out on
a technical he received during a scuffle between players when they
were trying to secure a loose ball.
Elston Turner made both free throws to make it 62-58 with 40
seconds left, but Jeff Withey scored four points to guarantee the
”To put them in a position to be able to win the game is beyond
belief because we were just making basketball plays experienced
guys should never make,” Kansas coach Bill Self said.
Middleton led Texas A&M (13-14, 4-11) with 23 points.
”You can’t give Kansas a 20-point lead on your home court and
expect to win the game,” Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said.
”The only thing I can say is we didn’t throw in the towel. We had
The victory was the fifth straight for the Jayhawks whose next
game is a showdown for the conference lead with No. 3 Missouri on
Kansas led 60-53 after Taylor scored the first basket for Kansas
in almost 7 minutes on a three-point play with just under 2 minutes
Johnson finished two points shy of his career-high and had 18
points in the first half to carry the team with Robinson and Taylor
struggling before halftime.
Texas A&M shook off a bad start to the second half by going
on a 24-8 run starting at the 11-minute mark to cut the Jayhawks’
lead to 57-53 with about 2 minutes remaining. Kansas made six free
throws in that span, but the team’s only basket came on a layup by
Johnson with just under 9 minutes remaining.
Middleton scored 13 points in that time.
”We just didn’t take smart shots, we rushed up, took quick
shots that weren’t good team looks, and it put us in a hole,”
Harris said. ”We can’t play against top 10 teams or any team
playing behind like that.”
The Jayhawks were leading by seven points early in the second
half before they scored 14 straight points to stretch the lead to
47-26 with just more than 13 minutes remaining. Robinson had five
points in that span and capped the run with a three-point play.
Robinson finished with 10 points and 13 rebounds to extend his
streak of scoring in double figures to 16 straight games.
This is the seventh straight season the Jayhawks have had 13
conference wins and their 23rd consecutive season with 23 wins.
They have won eight straight over A&M and are 19-1 all-time
against the Aggies in what could be the last meeting with A&M
heading to the Southeastern Conference next season.
The paltry crowd of 6,868 was peppered with Kansas fans,
including former Jayhawks coach Larry Brown, who watched the game
from a front-row seat directly behind the visitors’ bench.
Harris, a point guard, missed the last seven games with an
injured foot. He didn’t start, but entered the game early in the
first half in his first game since Jan. 23 at Kansas.
He had eight points and David Loubeau and Turner added 10 points
each for the Aggies, who trailed 31-21 at halftime.