Kansas gets easy win over Texas Tech
Second-ranked Kansas was glad to finally get a win in Lubbock, beating Texas Tech 88-66.
''Against Texas Tech, obviously we've had troubles in Lubbock the past six or seven years,'' said Brady Morningstar, who finished with 12 points Tuesday night. ''It's good to get a win here.''
Marcus Morris scored 18 points to lead the Jayhawks, giving them their first win in Lubbock since 2003.
Kansas (21-1, 6-1 Big 12) never trailed and steadily built an insurmountable lead. The Jayhawks were hot from the outset, and though their shooting cooled in the second half, they prevailed with ease.
The Red Raiders (11-12, 3-5) were at a loss to stop the Jayhawks, who seemed to score from everywhere. They made 8 of 20 3-point attempts and got 48 points in the paint.
''They got rolling there,'' Texas Tech coach Pat Knight said of the game's start. ''They were on fire. That's as good a start as I've seen. The game was pretty much over after the first 5 minutes.''
Morningstar hit a 3 to make it 13-4 in the first 5 minutes of the game.
Kansas coach Bill Self said the early success helped.
''Made so many shots early, it helped our confidence,'' he said. ''Making shots is contagious, too. That's basketball. Sometimes you make them, sometimes you don't.''
John Roberson scored 24 points to lead the Red Raiders.
Texas Tech went to the 3 in the second half to try and catch up but made only 6 of 22 for the game.
Javarez Willis hit a 3 to pull Tech within 60-43 with 13:11 left but it could get no closer.
Kansas soon built its lead back to 25 points.
The Jayhawks, who have won all four of their Big 12 road games, were ranked in the top 10 in the past three meetings in West Texas. In 2005 they were No. 2 and lost in double overtime. In 2007, they were fifth and in 2009 they were No. 9 and lost both games.
On Tuesday night, everything was clicking for Kansas. Five players were in double figures and the Jayhawks shot 51.4 percent from the field.
Kansas worked the ball inside to Marcus and Markieff Morris and Mike Singletary and other Red Raiders were powerless to stop them. Morningstar and Josh Selby scored from the outside for the Jayhawks. Selby finished with 14 points on 6-of-13 shooting, and making 2 of 4 3-point attempts. Morningstar made 2 of 3 from beyond the arc.
The crowd was not large or rowdy. The frigid winter storm that dumped snow on the region kept many away from the game.
Self said his team plays better with a good game atmosphere and knew that the weather would affect attendance.
''We didn't play with great emotion, but we were very efficient,'' he said.
Tech nearly outscored Kansas in the second half.
''At the end of the day, even though Tech didn't shoot a real good percentage, we won the second half by one point, not like dominant at all, traded baskets second half,'' Self said.
Thomas Robinson added 17 points for Kansas.
The Jayhawks' shooting dropped at the start of the second half when they hit just three of their first 11 shots.
The Jayhawks led 50-29 at halftime, outscoring the Red Raiders 28-6 in the paint.
At one point the Jayhawks scored on eight straight possession. They made 22 of 38 shots (57.9 percent), their second-highest percentage this season. Kansas' best first-half shooting came in an 85-65 win at Baylor last month when they shot 79.3 percent.
And the Jayhawks defense was crisp and alert, getting six steals and forcing nine turnovers.
The Red Raiders started slowly - a problem all season. They were outrebounded in the first half 20-12.