No. 1 Kansas survives No. 24 Texas A&M
Kansas coach Bill Self knows his team’s win over Texas A&M
wasn’t pretty. Still, he figures it will help the Jayhawks down the
Xavier Henry scored 12 points, including several free throws
down the stretch, to help top-ranked Kansas escape with a 59-54 win
over No. 24 Texas A&M on Monday night.
It’s the 11th consecutive victory for Kansas (25-1, 11-0 Big
12) and breaks a 16-game home winning streak for Texas A&M
Kansas trailed for much of the second half and was behind by
four before going on a 7-2 run, capped by a free throw by Henry, to
take a 55-54 lead with 3 1/2 minutes remaining. The Jayhawks pushed
the lead to 57-54 moments later when Bryan Davis was called for
goaltending on a shot by Cole Aldrich.
Henry hit two more free throws with about 30 seconds
remaining to seal the win.
Marcus Morris and Aldrich added 12 points apiece for Kansas.
Aldrich also had five blocked shots to set the school record for
blocked shots in a season with 98.
“If Marcus isn’t going to play much and Sherron (Collins) has
a night like he had, it’s amazing to me that we won the game,” Self
said. “We won the game muddy. It’s probably a good thing for us to
know that we can win when it was really a muddy, ugly from an
offensive standpoint game.”
Texas A&M was led by David Loubeau’s 17 points and Donald
Sloan had 15.
“I just hate to let it slip away because I thought we had
them,” Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon said. “We had it and just
couldn’t finish it off.”
The Jayhawks let the Aggies hang around in this one because
of poor 3-point shooting and trouble with offensive rebounding.
Kansas made just 1 of 10 3-pointers and was outrebounded 20 to 8 on
“We shot it miserably from a distance and we haven’t shot it
good for a while from a distance, but we didn’t turn it over and we
got fouled,” Self said. “We’re finding a way to still win even
though we’re not making shots right now, which is good.”
Aldrich wasn’t happy with his team’s performance on the
“We gave up 20 offensive rebounds which is unacceptable and
that’s on our bigs,” he said. “We have to take care of that and
make sure they don’t get those second chance points.”
The Jayhawks were proud their stifling defense in the last
“Our offense was a little out of rhythm,” Henry said. “It
happens every now and then and we just rely on defense when that
Turgeon lamented his team’s late-game letdown.
“If you only score two points in the last six minutes of a
game you’re probably not going to beat the No. 1 team in the
country,” he said.
Texas A&M took a 48-44 lead with about eight minutes left
after Loubeau hit the first of two free throws. He made a jumper on
the previous possession.
Kansas cut the lead to two points when Collins made his first
basket of the game — after missing his first six — on a jumper in
“We just weren’t able to make plays down the stretch and they
were and that was the whole game,” Sloan said.
The Aggies led by one before a layup by Loubeau made it 41-38
with about 13 1/2 minutes remaining. He was fouled on the shot, but
missed the free throw. Tyrel Reed hit Kansas’ first 3-pointer of
the game less than a minute later to tie it at 41-all.
Kansas got ahead several times early in the second half, with
one coming when Markieff Morris hit two free throws to make it
38-37 with about 15 minutes remaining.
Texas A&M’s Dash Harris sat out the last 10 minutes of
the first half after falling hard to the court after his shot was
blocked. He had to be carried off the court by his teammates. He
returned for the second half and finished with six points and four
Kansas jumped out to an 8-2 lead but Texas A&M went on a
14-4 run to take a four-point lead with about 13 minutes remaining.
There were several lead changes after that before a jump shot by
Loubeau put the Aggies ahead 32-30 at halftime.