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No. 3 Kansas pulls away from Texas Tech


By Harold Bechard, The Sports Xchange

LAWRENCE, Kan. -- There was no last-second controversy this time for Kansas.
The third-ranked Jayhawks took the suspense out of Saturday night's game with Texas Tech, using a 12-0 two-minute blitz in the second half to whip the Red Raiders 85-68 in Allen Fieldhouse.
The victory -- No. 2,200 all-time and the 14th straight this season for the Jayhawks (14-1, 3-0 Big 12) -- came four days after a 90-88 victory over Kansas State that saw junior Svi Mykhailiuk hit the game-winner at the buzzer after a travel violation that wasn't called.
Kansas coach Bill Self criticized his team afterward, calling it the worst defensive team he's had in 14 seasons at the school.
Saturday night, the Jayhawks were better, holding the Red Raiders to 40.7 percent shooting and outrebounding them 38-29. Texas Tech (12-3, 1-2) came into the game leading the Big 12 in rebound margin.
"I thought our activity level was much better," said Self, who is one victory away from No. 400 at Kansas. "It's a big improvement. I don't know if you know this but K-State made 20 layups the other night. That's an unbelievable amount."
The Jayhawks led by five with 8:22 remaining after Texas Tech's Devon Thomas dropped in his team's eighth 3-pointer of the second half to make it 60-55. But over the next 2:03, Kansas went on a 12-0 run, fueled by seven points from Frank Mason III and a 3-pointer by Mykailiuk and dunk from Landen Lucas.
Kansas led by as many as 19 points down the stretch over the Red Raiders, who were coming off an upset of No. 7 West Virginia.
"The difference is, they started making shots," Texas Tech's Keenan Evans said. "We were there, but they are just great players."
The trio of Mason, Devonte' Graham and Josh Jackson proved to be too much for the Red Raiders. Mason finished with 26 points and Graham 20 -- including 10 in the first eight minutes -- while Jackson added 17 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots.
"Kansas plays in streaks and runs," Texas Tech coach Chris Beard said. "A lot of times, you can play with them for 32 minutes, but they'll run you out of gym for eight minutes and pretty soon, you're on the bus having a sandwich."
Texas Tech got 17 points each from Zach Smith and reserve Aaron Ross and 16 from Evans.
The Jayhawks hit the road Tuesday night at Oklahoma, while Texas Tech is home on the same night against Kansas State.
"We've got to be ready to play every game," said Jackson, who is getting his first taste of Big 12 play. "Guys come out and play a lot harder, especially with (Kansas) winning the league so many years in a row.
"Ask any team in the league, if they could beat only one team ... I think we all know who that team would be."
-- The Jayhawks are one of four schools who have topped the 2,000-win barrier, with Kentucky (2,217), North Carolina (2,190) and Duke (2,101) are the other three.
-- The Jayhawks won 10 straight against the Red Raiders.
-- Texas Tech came into the game as the Big 12's top shooting team from the field (51.4 percent for the season).
-- Former Kansas F Brandon Rush will have his jersey retired on Feb. 22 during halftime of the TCU game.


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