No. 1 Kansas dominates No. 23 Texas

By Steve Habel, The Sports Xchange  |  March 1, 2016 at 12:43 AM
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AUSTIN -- Top-ranked Kansas was not in a sharing mood Monday. After having clinched at least a part of the Big 12 Conference title on Saturday, the Jayhawks craved more and they satiated their hunger with an 86-56 win over No. 23 Texas that assured that the league's regular-season title would not be piecemealed.

"This obviously meant something to our guys," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "For about 28 minutes, we played about as well as we can play. We made the extra pass and made our open shots. The team played like it was having fun tonight. Our focus was just to play good against Texas, and we did."

Forward Perry Ellis poured in 20 points, 15 of them in the first half, to lead a balanced attack as Kansas dominated from the opening tip.

Kansas took the sellout crowd of 16,540 at the Erwin Center out of the game before it could even find its seats by bursting out to a 15-0 lead. The Jayhawks (26-4, 14-3 in Big 12 play) bullied Texas and forced the Longhorns into bad shots.

Even when Texas had easy looks at close range it couldn't convert, missing their first 14 field goals.

"We played like veterans -- we were skilled tonight, we made a lot of good basketball plays," Self said. "We were fortunate that when Texas had open shots they missed them. If we play Texas again, it's likely a coin-flip game."

Point guard Frank Mason III added 14 points for Kansas and guard Devonte' Graham scored 13 for the Jayhawks, who were 11 of 16 (69 percent) on their 3-point shots after going 6-for-8 in the first half from long distance. Kansas shot 64 percent from the field for the game while Texas managed just 30 percent.

Ellis was nearly flawless in the first half, going 7 of 8 from the floor, as the Jayhawks outshot Texas 63 percent to 27 percent and kept on the accelerator.

"We just wanted to go out and show how great a team we are," Ellis said. "We hit a lot of shots early on and moved the ball well. We didn't take many bad 3-point shots and when we were making them it was just contiguous. We've defended better the past few games, and that's made a big difference."

After Texas (19-11, 10-7 in Big 12) cut the Kansas advantage to 18 points on a steal and layup by point guard Isaiah Taylor with 1:25 to play in the half, Kansas ended the period with back-to-back 3-pointers by guards Wayne Selden Jr. and Brannen Greene to grant the Jayhawks a 47-23 lead at halftime.

"We didn't come out and guard tonight -- it was plain and simple," Texas guard Javan Felix said. "It was a lot like our game against Baylor (a 78-64 loss on Feb. 20) -- we didn't defend then either, and we got beat. We were aggressive tonight on offense but we didn't make our shots."

The Jayhawks built their advantage to as many as 33 points, at 72-39, with 10:27 to play and cruised home. Kansas has won five straight games against Texas, 10 of the past 11 meetings, and 13 of the last 15 matchups,

Texas was never close to competitive in this game, which was surprising after the Longhorns beat No. 3 Oklahoma 76-63 on Saturday. It was especially disappointing for the Longhorns' five seniors -- guards Felix and Demarcus Holland, forward Connor Lammert and centers Prince Ibeh and Cameron Ridley -- who played their final home game Monday.

"One of our biggest issues is that we didn't handle the aftermath of our big win against Oklahoma well," Texas coach Shaka Smart said. "We addressed that -- I was concerned about the human nature element of that win -- but I didn't do a good job of getting the guys back to where we need to be.

"Kansas was terrific and played well," Smart added. "They were free and loose and aggressive, but a part of that was that our energy, toughness and fight were nowhere near they needed to be."

Felix led the Longhorns with 13 points while Ibeh gathered a game- and career-high 12 rebounds. Taylor the Longhorns' leading scorer for the year with a 15.5 points-per-game average, tallied only five points on 1 of 10 shooting.

NOTES: Texas is still looking for its first win in program history against an AP No. 1 opponent. UT already has a school single-season record four wins against AP Top 10 opponents this season. The Longhorns are now 4-1 at home against AP Top 20 teams this year, including a 3-1 mark against AP Top 10 opponents. ... Monday's contest was the second of a two-game home stand (in a 3-day span) that Texas played against AP Top 3 opponents. ... The Longhorns still need a victory to reach the 20-win mark for the 16th time in the last 18 seasons. UT had a school-record streak of 13 consecutive 20-win seasons from 1999- 2000 through 2011-12. ... Kansas' 12 straight conference titles, beginning in 2004-05 and all under coach Bill Self, ranks second all-time on NCAA Division I list and only trails UCLA's 13 consecutive titles as members of the then-Pac-10 Conference from 1967-79. ... Kansas entered the game averaging 81.6 points per game and had a Big 12-leading plus-13.7 scoring margin and 39.8 field-goal percentage defense. The Jayhawks are fourth nationally with a 42.3 3-point field-goal percentage.

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