LAWRENCE, Kan. (KXAN) — Two Big 12 heavyweights went punch-for-punch Monday at Allen Fieldhouse, but the No. 9 Kansas Jayhawks protected its home floor with an 88-80 win over No. 5 Texas.
Texas trailed by seven at halftime and quickly cut the deficit to one possession several times early in the second half, but the Jayhawks always had an answer. A Marcus Carr jump shot brought Texas within a bucket 52-50 with 13:27 left, but Kansas went on a 6-0 flurry to stretch their lead back to eight at 58-50 with 12:15 left.
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Kansas put the dagger in the Longhorns with a 7-0 run, fueled by five points from Gradey Dick, to turn a 66-60 lead into a 73-60 lead with 3:54 left.
The loss ends a tough set of two games in three days for the Longhorns in Kansas. On Saturday, Texas came from behind to beat Kansas State 69-66 in Manhattan, just 85 miles from where they played Monday.
Texas guard Marcus Carr poured in a game-high 29 points on 10-for-21 shooting. Timmy Allen scored 18 points and Jabari Rice chipped in 12 points before fouling out late in the second half.
Kansas had five players score in double figures led by Dicks’ 21 points. The freshman guard shot 7-for-11 from the field and 5-for-6 from the foul line. Dajuan Harris scored 17 points, Kevin McCullar had 16 points including a 10-for-13 night from the foul line and Joseph Yesufu scored 14 points in 19 minutes of playing time. KJ Adams chipped in 10 points for the Jayhawks.
The Longhorns shot better than the Jayhawks from 3-point range, making 6-of-19 attempts to Kansas’ 2-for-10 performance, but the Jayhawks got to the rim seemingly at will to score 50 points in the paint and 24 fastbreak points. Texas averaged 16.6 assists per game leading up to the showdown but managed just six Monday. The Longhorns ended with 15 turnovers and Kansas scored 18 points off of them.
Under Bill Self, the Jayhawks are 11-1 when playing top-five teams in the AP Top 25 and moved to 18-2 at home over Texas.
Texas (18-5, 8-3 Big 12 Conference) is a half-game ahead of Iowa State in the Big 12 standings after the loss. The Cyclones can tie the Longhorns for first place with a win at West Virginia on Wednesday. Texas takes on West Virginia at Moody Center on Saturday.
Kansas (19-5, 7-4) takes on Oklahoma on the road Saturday.