#5 Kansas passed its first test of the season at #14 Texas Tech, getting out of Lubbock with a 58-57 win.
Texas Tech opened up an early 7-2 lead in the first four minutes of the game, but Kansas knotted it up at 11-apiece on a dunk by Ochai Agbaji with 13:13 to go until halftime. KU eventually opened up a 6-point advantage late in the half before settling for a 3-point lead at the break, 29-26.
Kansas pushed the lead to 8 within the first minute of the second half, which would be KU’s largest of the night. The Jayhawks would then go almost six minutes of game time stuck on 34 points, from the 19:24 mark to the 13:28 mark. Fortunately, the Jayhawks found themselves down just one point following the Agbaji 3-pointer with 13:28 to play. Kansas would follow that up with another nearly 4-minute run of not scoring a point, from 12:11 to 8:57, as Texas Tech built up a 7-point lead of its own. However, that lead was erased in less than a minute as KU tied the game up yet again on an Agbaji 3 with 8:19 to play.
It was neck-and-neck, back-and-forth the rest of the way. With one minute to play and the ballgame tied at 54-all, Marcus Garrett drove the lane and scored, give the ‘Hawks a two-point lead. Tech’s Terrance Shannon answered with a 3 on the other end, giving the Raiders the one-point edge. KU ran its ensuing possession through David McCormack, who missed a well-guarded 10-foot jumper (come on guys, you know he’s shooting as soon as he gets it). However, the rebound went out of bounds off of Tech, so KU maintained possession.
KU’s Marcus Garrett found Ochai Agbaji all alone underneath the basket, and KU took a one-point lead with just under 13 seconds to go. After a Tech timeout, KU’s Jalen Wilson smothered Tech’s Terrence Shannon, whose shot didn’t even make it to the rim, and KU escaped Tech with the hard-fought win.
Neither team shot well, with KU hitting 40.3% of its shots compared to Tech’s 32.3%.
KU was nails at the free throw line, hitting 14-15, while Tech hit just 11-18.
Even though the free throw attempts were similar, the foul calls were not. KU was whistled 22 times compared to Tech’s 14 times. There was also at least one charge call on Kansas that brought me out of my chair. It seemed a bit... one-sided.
Kansas has never lost a Big 12 opener, and hasn’t lost a conference opener since the 1990-91 season.
Kansas will come home to Allen Fieldhouse to take on #8 Western Virginia on Tuesday, Dec 22, at 8:00 PM local time on ESPN2.