Kansas City, Mo. — Dedric Lawson’s second-half performance was invaluable for No. 2 Kansas.
Lawson had 20 points and 10 rebounds and scored Kansas’ final 14 points as the undefeated Jayhawks got past New Mexico State 63-60 in the Jayhawk Shootout on Saturday night.
The Jayhawks’ offense stalled after a hot start in their first game without injured center Udoka Azubuike, going scoreless for over five minutes in the first half. Lawson, their offensive anchor, had just two points at halftime, but scored 18 in the second half as they put it together and escaped with a win.
“He didn’t get a lot done in the first half, and he’s better than that . but he did make some key plays late,” coach Bill Self said. “We don’t win the game, obviously, unless he made those plays.”
Lawson began to heat up when he tied the score with a layup with six minutes to go. He hit a 3-pointer – just his second of the season – with under four minutes left to open a 60-57 lead, and then hit three free throws in the last minute to seal the victory for Kansas (8-0).
It didn’t take any motivational speeches or self-searching for Lawson to overcome his early struggles. He just needed to see his shots start to fall.
“It’s just basketball,” Lawson said. “It’s all about getting into a rhythm. Once you get into a rhythm, you get into the flow of the game.”
Marcus Garrett was the only other member of the Jayhawks in double figures, with 10 points. Charlie Moore had three steals in his first start.
Lawson wasn’t perfect, as he missed a free throw with 11 seconds left that would have made it a four-point game. New Mexico State (7-2) then had the chance to tie, but JoJo Zamora’s attempt bounced off the rim.
Zamora led the Aggies with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Ivan Aurrecoechea added 14 points and six assists and Johnny McCants turned in a career high 12 points.
New Mexico State played well for 40 minutes, but just couldn’t execute when it mattered. That was the difference.
“We had our opportunities I thought in the second half, talked about it in the locker room,” coach Chris Jans said. “We just couldn’t knock them out.”
The Jayhawks improved to 4-0 all-time against the Aggies with the win.
(At) No. 3 Duke 91, Yale 58: RJ Barrett had 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and Duke pulled away for the win.
Zion Williamson scored 20 points for the Blue Devils, who led 41-32 at halftime but hit their first six shots after the break to finally stretch out the lead. Duke (9-1) shot 57 percent after halftime and 49 percent overall for its fourth straight win.
Miye Oni had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Bulldogs (4-3).
(At) No. 8 Auburn 82, Dayton 72: Bryce Brown scored a career-high 34 points and made six 3-pointers to lead Auburn to the win.
Brown got into a groove late in the first half, making four straight 3s over the final 2:29 to give the Tigers a 51-32 lead.
Jared Harper had 20 points and seven assists for Auburn (8-1).
Ryan Mikesell led Dayton (5-4) with 15 points. Josh Cunningham scored 14.
Seton Hall 84, No. 9 Kentucky 83, OT: Myles Cale hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 9.5 seconds left in overtime and Seton Hall overcame Keldon Johnson’s half-court heave that tied the score at the regulation buzzer.
In one of the most exciting finishes of the season, Johnson had a chance to win it for the Wildcats (7-2), but his 3-point try with a second remaining was blocked by Quincy McKnight.
Myles Powell scored 25 of his 28 points after halftime for Seton Hall (6-3), including a tiebreaking 3 in the final seconds of the second half at Madison Square Garden.
The clock showed 1.1 seconds after Powell’s jumper went through, but officials put 1.5 on the clock after a replay review. PJ Washington inbounded from the baseline and threw a long pass to an open Johnson. He caught the ball near half court, turned over his left shoulder and hurled a right-handed shot that went in as the buzzer sounded, tying it at 70.
Washington had 29 points and 13 rebounds for Kentucky.
No. 11 Florida State 79, Connecticut 71: Terance Mann scored 20 points, reserve David Nichols had 16 and Florida State beat Connecticut in the second game of the Never Forget Tribute Classic.
Mfiondu Kabengele added 15 points for Florida State (8-1), which has won three in a row. Christ Koumadje finished with seven points and 10 rebounds.
Alterique Gilbert led UConn (7-3) with 24 points. Jalen Adams had 15, and Tarin Smith finished with 12 points.
(At) Marquette 74, No. 12 Wisconsin 69, OT: Markus Howard scored 27 points, freshman Joey Hauser added 15 and Marquette grinded out the overtime win.
Sam Hauser had 13 points and 14 rebounds for the Golden Eagles (8-2). But it was his little brother, Joey, who came up clutch playing in his first game in the heated in-state rivalry.
He scored four in the opening two minutes of overtime, including both free throws after Wisconsin’s Brad Davison was called for a flagrant foul with 3:35 left.
Wisconsin (8-2) wasted a terrific effort from Ethan Happ, who had 34 points and 11 rebounds.
(At) Tulsa 47, No. 16 Kansas State 46: Martins Igbanu made a go-ahead jump hook with 1:51 remaining, lifting Tulsa to the victory.
Curran Scott scored 14 points for Tulsa (7-3), and Igbanu had nine points and six rebounds. The Hurricane got their second straight victory against the Big 12, also topping Oklahoma State 74-71 on Wednesday.
Kansas State had one last chance in the final seconds, but Barry Brown Jr. rimmed out a floater on a drive into the lane. Several tips misfired and the Tulsa students stormed the court to celebrate.
Xavier Sneed had 13 points and 10 rebounds, but the Wildcats (6-2) shot 30.5 percent (18 for 59) from the field. They also committed 16 turnovers.
No. 17 Buffalo 80, St. Bonaventure 62: Jayvon Graves hit a career-best five 3-pointers and scored 19 points, helping Buffalo to another win.
CJ Massinburg had 14 points and nine rebounds as Buffalo (9-0) added to its best start to a season since going 15-0 in 1930-31.
Courtney Stockard scored 18 points for St. Bonaventure in just his fourth game since missing the start of the season with a knee injury. The Bonnies (4-6) had won three in a row.
(At) No. 21 Villanova 70, Saint Joseph's 58: Eric Paschall had 14 points and nine rebounds, and Villanova earned its 25th straight Big 5 victory.
Joe Cremo and Phil Booth scored 12 points apiece as the Wildcats (8-2) continued their dominance of the long-standing city series with Philadelphia rivals Saint Joseph’s, Penn, La Salle and Temple. Jermaine Samuels added 11 points.
Lamarr Kimble led Saint Joseph’s with 22 points. The Hawks (5-5) were missing Charlie Brown, the top scorer in the Atlantic 10. He sprained his ankle in a win at Princeton on Wednesday.
No. 22 Mississippi State 82, Clemson 71: Lamar Peters scored 28 points to lead Mississippi State to its fifth straight win.
Quinndary Weatherspoon added 20 points for Mississippi State (8-1). Peters was 8 of 11 from 3-point range.
Clemson (6-3) got 23 points from Aamir Simms and 18 points from Elijah Thomas.
(At) No. 23 Maryland 55, Loyola of Chicago 41: Anthony Cowan scored 17 points and Maryland overcame a sluggish start.
Cowan became the 55th player in Maryland history to score 1,000 career points, hitting the milestone with a free throw in the first half. Aaron Wiggins added 10 points for the Terrapins (8-2).
Cameron Krutwig scored 12 points for the short-handed Ramblers (5-5), who have lost four of five.
(At) No. 24 Nebraska 94, Creighton 75: James Palmer scored 30 points, Thomas Allen had a career-high 18 and Nebraska stopped a seven-game losing streak to its in-state rival.
The sellout crowd at Pinnacle Bank Arena began chanting “Go Big Red!” as the Huskers nursed a 19-point lead with under two minutes to play.
Mitch Ballock made seven 3-pointers on his way to 23 points for Creighton (6-3).
Isaiah Roby had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Huskers (8-2).
No. 25 Furman 74, (at) South Carolina Upstate 60: Jordan Lyons had 20 points and Noah Gurley added 15 points and six rebounds, powering Furman to the win.
The surprise mid-major of the season, the Paladins (10-0) got through the program’s first-ever week in the AP Top 25 unscathed after a slow start.
Upstate (2-8) led 34-30 at half, but Furman grabbed control with a 24-5 run.
Malik Moore led the Spartans with 24 points and 11 rebounds.