Texas Tech came into Lawrence and made a national statement Tuesday night against the Kansas Jayhawks, leading wire to wire and telling the country that their despite their non-conference competition, the stats don’t lie, as they suffocated the Kansas offense and took home an 85-73 victory.
It was Tech’s first win in Allen Fieldhouse in 18 tries, and if we’re honest, this one was over early. Tech jumped out to a quick 8-2 lead, and it was 15-5 by the time the first TV timeout arrived. A Brandone Francis jumper with 10:46 to go until halftime gave Tech a 16-point, 23-7 lead. Kansas made a run, cutting the deficit to 29-22 on a Devote Graham 3-ball, but Tech quickly pushed the lead back to double digits and took a 43-32 lead into halftime.
The Jayhawks tried to adjust their offense coming out of halftime by getting the ball into the paint, getting to within 6 or 7 points on several occasions. After a Malik Newman layup cut the Tech lead to 62-56 with 8:41 to go, Davide Moretti’s three-pointer 24 seconds later sucked the life out of Allen Fieldhouse. KU’s desperation threes didn’t fall in the final two minutes, and Tech cruised to an 85-73 victory.
Devonte Graham led all scorers with 27 points on 6-13 shooting, helped by going 13-13 from the free throw line. Graham had 6 assists but an uncharacteristic 5 turnovers.
Kansas hit just 6-26 (23.1%) three point attempts - none in the second half. Texas Tech didn’t shoot well from behind the arc either (6-24, 25.0%), but Justin Gray, a career 30% shooter, made his first two threes and finished 2-4 from downtown.
As a team, Texas Tech came into the game shooting 67% from the free throw line. The Raiders nailed 21-25 (84.0%) of their charity shots. Norense Odiase, a 46% free throw shooter, went 4-4.
But where Kansas really lost this game was on the glass, with Texas Tech rebounding over 40% of its misses and outscoring KU 15-4 in second chance points. Turnovers also killed KU, with Tech scoring 26 points off of Kansas turnovers.
Kansas doesn’t have much time to get things figured out, as the Jayhawks will travel to Fort Worth, TX to take on #16 TCU on Saturday, Jan 6, at 8:15 CST.