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Jayhawks Hold Off Red Raiders in Key Win

No. 23 Kansas led wire-to-wire in a hotly contested battle to defeat No. 15 Texas Tech, 67-61, inside Allen Fieldhouse Saturday afternoon. The victory was the Jayhawks’ fifth-straight win.

Kansas improved to 17-7 on the season and 11-5 in Big 12 play, while Texas Tech fell to 14-7, 6-6. The Jayhawks had five scorers in double figures with junior big man David McCormack leading the way with 17 points, shooting 7-10 from the field.

Following McCormack’s lead was junior Ochai Agbaji with 14 points, redshirt-freshman Jalen Wilson with 11 points, his eighth straight game scoring in double figures. KU senior Marcus Garrett and sophomore Christian Braun each scored 10 points for the contest to mark Kansas’ fifth game with five or more players in double figures this season.

Kansas came ready to play, holding Texas Tech scoreless through the first four minutes of the game. McCormack was the hot hand in the first half, scoring 12 points on a perfect 5-of-5 from the field.

Kansas extended its lead to nine off a freshman Bryce Thompson three, but Texas Tech’s junior transfer Mac McClung answered with a three-pointer at the buzzer, to cut the KU lead to 31-25 at the break.

The Jayhawks came out of the locker room with a burst of energy. Five seconds into the second half Wilson sank a three-pointer before Texas Tech went on a mini 5-0 run. The Jayhawks responded with an 8-0 run of their own, extending their lead to 12, the largest of the afternoon.

Both teams traded baskets as Texas Tech tried to cut the lead down to a possession. They were only able to do so once late in the half. Texas Tech’s Terrence Shannon Jr. pulled up from the top of the arc, drilled a three-pointer, and cut the Jayhawks’ lead to just three points at 64-61.

Kansas, needing to respond, turned to Braun. The guard created space for himself, received the pass from Wilson, pulled up from three-point range, and swished it. The Red Raiders put up a desperation shot at the other end, Braun pulled down the rebound, and the Jayhawks dribbled out the clock for their fifth-straight win.

Kansas shot 25-61 (41%) from the field, 8-26 (30.8%) from three-point range, and 9-12 (75%) from the free-throw line. KU held Texas Tech to 22-52 (42.3%) from the field, 5-15 (33.3%) from three-point range, and 12-19 (63.2%) from the free-throw line.

Kansas outrebounded Texas Tech 36-35, while pulling in three more offensive rebounds as well. The Jayhawks also turned the ball over just six times, which ties their season low previously set against Kansas State on Feb. 2.

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