It’s a good thing Ben McLemore wasn’t as injured as many fans had feared when he was listed as questionable for the Texas game, January 19, 2013. McLemore left last Monday’s Baylor game with an ankle injury. Fueled by 11 second half points by McLemore, Kansas overcame a poor shot outing and an 11 point deficit to beat Texas in Austin, 64-59.
Only 2:18 remained when the Jayhawks took the lead for good. Neither team shot over 40 percent in the opening frame, and for the second-straight road game the Jayhawks took a deficit to halftime following a sub-30 percent shooting performance.
Kansas found itself trailing Texas for much of the game, including what seemed to be an insurmountable 11-point margin with 15 minutes remaining. The Hawks dug deep and outscored the Longhorns 17-6 in the final 5:36 to chalk up their 15th-straight win.
Texas shot 45 percent (25-for-56) to Kansas' 39 percent (20-for-51), becoming the second team this year to out shoot the Jayhawks.
One glaring stat for the number geeks was Kansas taking a 21 for 25 free throw shooting performance to the locker room, while only allowing Texas to shoot 8 free throws, and only making 2. Bill Self consistently pounds the paint with the big men and keep his guards aggressive to assure his team of points one way or another. Staying disciplined on defense keeps the Hawks out of foul trouble and allows them to score points with the clock stopped.
Kansas has the fundamentals locked down, but they need to find that killer instinct to deliver the first punch and keep the gas down. The past 5 games have been witness to opponents keeping KU within range or maintaining a lead. How many more comeback victories do the Jayhawks have left in this maturing season?
No. 4 Kansas will stay on the road to face Kansas State on Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 7 P.M. on the Big 12 Television Network.
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