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No. 1 Kansas escapes Texas Tech with win

By Chad Conine, The Sports Xchange   |   Jan. 10, 2016 at 1:52 AM

LUBBOCK, Texas -- Another close battle in the second half in another packed arena proved just another day at the office for top-ranked Kansas.

Guard Frank Mason scored 17 points and forward Perry Ellis had 15 points and 10 rebounds as the Jayhawks answered every Red Raiders challenge and claimed a 69-59 victory on Saturday night at United Supermarkets Arena.

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Texas Tech held Kansas to its lowest scoring output of the season, but the Jayhawks (14-1, 3-0 Big 12) made the baskets they needed to win a clash on the road in front of a crowd of 14,231.

Kansas coach Bill Self said his team overcame 29 percent shooting from the field in the first half by making smart plays down the stretch.

"We made some timely shots even though we didn't shoot the ball well," Self said. "It was one of those game where the teams played equally, I think. We won some really big possessions."

After the Jayhawks went ahead 42-32 early in the second half, Texas Tech used a 12-2 run midway through the second half to tie the score.

Red Raiders forward Aaron Ross hit a 3-pointer and forward Norense Odiase tied the score at 44 on Texas Tech's next possession with 10:23 left.

But Kansas scored the next eight points as Mason and fellow guard Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk each hit 3-pointers to give the Jayhawks a lead they never relinquished.

"It's always a tough game down here and we fought to the end," Ellis said. "It's a great feeling to get that road win."

Kansas won the rebounding battle 42-26 and held Texas Tech to seven offensive rebounds.

Odiase led Texas Tech with 14 points and guard Toddrick Gotcher added 13, but no Red Raiders player had more than six rebounds.

Texas Tech made just 9 of 19 free throws.

Kansas connected on 9 of 22 shots from beyond the arc led by Mason, who connected on 3 of 6 3-point attempts.

Texas Tech coach Tubby Smith pointed to rebounding, defense and free throws as factors that doomed the Red Raiders (11-3, 1-2).

"I look at it and we shot 52 percent in the second half, but we didn't rebound the ball," Smith said. "You don't rebound and you don't defend, you have no chance."

Kansas took a 29-27 halftime lead as both teams struggled on offense.

The Jayhawks had the upper hand, though, with Ellis scoring eight points in the first half and Mason adding seven. The Jayhawks didn't trail and led by as many as six.

Kansas also outrebounded Texas Tech 27-17 in the first 20 minutes. But the Red Raiders stayed close thanks to guard Toddrick Gotcher's eight points.

Gotcher hit a 3-pointer with 7:38 left in the first half to cut the Kansas lead to three. Texas Tech forward Zach Smith followed with a rebound dunk on the next trip down the floor to slice the deficit to one.

Texas Tech forced nine Kansas turnovers in the first half, but the Red Raiders turned the takeaways into just four points.

"We had some opportunities going against the No. 1 team in the country," Smith said. "They proved tonight why they're No. 1."

NOTES: Kansas, having survived a triple-overtime game earlier in the week in which it posted a 109-106 victory over second-ranked Oklahoma, is one of only two Big 12 teams undefeated in conference play through the first week of action. The other one, West Virginia, won Saturday to improve to 3-0 in the Big 12. ... Texas Tech won its Big 12 opener last week against Texas to start conference play in the win column for the first time since 2007. ... Kansas extended a 13-game winning streak in its series with Texas Tech. The closest call came in 2013 when the Jayhawks defeated the Red Raiders 64-63 in Lubbock on an Andrew Wiggins layup with two seconds left in regulation.

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