This game didn't start out pretty.
It's noteworthy that Udoka Azubuike did not get the start, evidently due to a disagreement with Bill Self following the win over Tech, but he only sat a few minutes while David McCormack got the nod. It didn't have much impact on the game though, as neither team looked particularly locked in on either side of the ball.
The game stayed tight throughout the first half, with neither team able to go on any type of extended run. This was especially disappointing for the Jayhawks, as Texas' Jericho Sims, probably the toughest matchup for KU, sat much of the half with foul trouble. Kansas simply couldn't take advantage, and limped into halftime down 33-31. At the break, the teams had combined to shoot 4-21 from three (18%), with Kansas at just 1-7 (14%), and both teams hanging around 40% shooting overall.
It didn't take long for things to look especially troublesome early in the second half as both Azubuike and McCormack found themselves with three fouls apiece before we even got to the under-16 TV timeout. KU would take the lead, however, and maintained a slim advantage through the first ten minutes of the second half.
It was at that point that things started to turn. Kansas was locked in defensively and Texas began to play frustrated. Their outside shots weren't falling, and they were having trouble even getting the ball inside the perimeter, making shots at the rim virtually impossible. Meanwhile, the Jayhawks were attacking the paint and finding great success with it. As they got more opportunities to run and score in transition, the game really opened up and what looked like a sloppy, tight affair for 30 minutes turned into a blowout. In the end, after a few meaningless buckets for the Longhorns, it was a 69-58 victory, though the lead got as high as 18 late in the second half.
Marcus Garrett continues to stuff the statsheet, while simultaneously doing all the great things that don't show up in the box score. He scored 11 as well as grabbing five rebounds with four assists and four steals. Devon Dotson went for 16 and came up with as few big plays as KU was taking over the game. Azubuike didn't have his best game, but still ended up with a team high 17 points and 12 rebounds, while blocking two shots.
Next up is what *should* be one of the easier road trips on the schedule. The Jayhawks head to Fort Worth Saturday morning, taking on the TCU Horned Frogs, who are a surprising 4-4 in conference play to date.