GAMEDAY Mens Basketball

Kansas 67, Texas-El-Paso 62


By DAVE SKRETTA
AP Basketball Writer

LAWRENCE, Kan. - Marcus Garrett scored on a driving layup with 22.4 seconds to go and Dajuan Harris added a pair of clinching free throws as No. 13 Kansas overcame a 15-point second-half deficit and beat UTEP 67-62.

David McCormack scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half, and Ochai Agbaji had 19 points as the Jayhawks (19-8) avoided a rare second loss in Allen Fieldhouse this season in what was supposed to be a Big 12 tourney tune-up.

Instead, the Miners (12-11) nearly beat Kansas for the fourth time in five meetings, which includes their double-overtime NCAA Tournament win on the way to the 1966 national title - the historic game made famous by the film "Glory Road" - and a second-round NCAA tourney upset of the top-seeded Jayhawks in 1992.

Souley Boum's free throws for UTEP knotted the game at 62 with 1:30 left, and the teams traded empty possessions before Garrett drove the right side of the lane for a layup. Boum raced the other way but lost control of the ball out of bounds, and UTEP was forced to foul the seldom-used Harris, who made good on his free throws to seal the win.

Bryson Williams led UTEP with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Boum finished with 16 points and six boards.

The Big 12 had built in time at the end of the season to allow for makeup games caused by COVID-19, but the Jayhawks somehow managed to play all 18 of their conference games on time. That left them in a predicament: They've been among the hottest teams in the nation, but faced the prospect of 12 days without a game before the Big 12 tourney.

So, Kansas reached out to UTEP, which had finished its own Conference USA regular season last week and likewise would have had a long layoff before its tournament. The schools quickly made a deal to add the game to the schedule.

The Jayhawks probably wish they left the phone on the hook.

They missed 12 of their first 14 shots, at one point going 6 1/2 minutes without a field goal, and allowed the Miners to race to a 20-12 lead. Kansas coach Bill Self burned through a pair of timeouts trying to slow their momentum, but Williams and Boum kept answering with buckets, and UTEP wound up carrying a 34-20 lead into the break.

It was the second-fewest points scored by the Jayhawks in a half this season.

The Miners, who stretched the lead to 15 early in the second half, were still clinging to a 50-36 advantage with 12:20 to go when the Jayhawks turned up the defensive pressure to ignite a comeback. Garrett did most of the damage, often slicing to the basket and drawing fouls, and soon their deficit had been trimmed to 50-44 with 9:26 remaining.

The rest of it evaporated when McCormack answered three straight UTEP turnovers with three straight baskets, and the big man converted a three-point play a few minutes later to give Kansas its first lead at 62-60 with 2:41 left.

The Jayhawks held on the final couple minutes to avoid the regular season-ending upset.

March 4, 2021



UTEP
Player FG-FGA FT-FTA 3P-3PA OR-TR Ast Blk Stl TO PF Pts
S. Boum 5-16 5-6 1-8 0-6 0 0 3 4 2 16
J. Bieniemy 2-5 2-3 2-4 1-3 5 0 1 3 0 8
K. Kennedy 2-8 0-0 2-4 2-8 0 0 0 2 3 6
B. Williams 9-19 3-4 2-6 6-13 2 0 0 1 4 23
T. Verhoeven 1-2 0-0 0-0 2-6 1 6 2 2 3 2
C. Agnew 1-4 0-0 0-2 1-2 0 0 1 0 2 2
E. Odigie 1-3 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 1 0 1 1 2
K. Sjolund 1-2 0-0 1-2 0-1 0 0 0 1 1 3
Totals 22-59
(.373)
10-13
(.769)
8-26
(.308)
15-42 9 7 7 14 16 62


Kansas
Player FG-FGA FT-FTA 3P-3PA OR-TR Ast Blk Stl TO PF Pts
M. Garrett 3-9 4-4 1-3 0-2 5 0 4 2 1 11
O. Agbaji 7-12 2-5 3-6 1-6 1 0 2 1 0 19
D. McCormack 6-14 6-8 0-0 5-10 2 2 1 3 3 18
C. Braun 3-7 0-0 0-1 1-6 2 0 1 2 1 6
D. Harris Jr. 1-1 4-4 0-0 1-2 2 0 2 1 2 6
J. Wilson 1-7 0-2 1-4 1-2 0 1 0 0 2 3
B. Thompson 1-4 0-0 0-1 0-2 0 0 0 1 0 2
M. Lightfoot 1-1 0-1 0-0 0-2 0 1 0 1 2 2
Totals 23-55
(.418)
16-24
(.667)
5-15
(.333)
13-38 12 4 10 11 11 67





D1SportsNet

FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM PINTEREST TWITTER YOUTUBE