Saturday’s Top 25: Kansas wins with big second half
Kansas City, Mo. — The starting five for Kansas kept pressuring Oregon State on defense, creating easy opportunities on offense and insisting to coach Bill Self that they weren’t tired.
So he left them in. Nearly the entire second half.
Wayne Selden responded by scoring 22 points, Frank Mason had 18 and the second-ranked Jayhawks rolled after the break to an 82-67 victory over the Beavers on Saturday night at Sprint Center.
Perry Ellis added 13 points and Devonte Graham had 10 for the Jayhawks (8-1), who trailed by 14 in the first half before outscoring the Beavers 25-9 to begin the second.
“The more that we fell behind, it seemed like the more energy we lost, and subbing didn’t do anything for us,” Self said. “I planned on playing everybody again (in the second half), but we got on a roll, we got going good. And nobody said they were tired so I didn’t see a reason to sub.”
The starters, along with lone sub Carlton Bragg, kept drawing away to help Kansas improve to 28-6 at the downtown Kansas City arena, where it has won four Big 12 tournament titles.
“You saw the best and worst of Kansas,” Self said. “That’s the worst we played all year in the first half, and they played a lot better than us. And the second half, that’s the best we played.”
Tres Tinkle hit five 3-pointers and scored 20 points for Oregon State (6-2), which was trying to equal its best start since the 1980-81 season. Gary Payton II scored 13 and Jarmal Reid added 11.
“We knew we came out the second half flat,” Payton said. “When they made runs the first half, we stayed calm, composed. In the second half we got out of character.”
Tinkle, who had been 3 for 15 from beyond the arc this season, hit his first 3-pointer with 14:12 left to give his team a 14-9 advantage. Then, the coach’s son proceeded to hit his next four.
Altogether, the Beavers made their first seven from beyond the arc, their hot shooting is the biggest reason Wayne Tinkle’s bunch enjoyed a double-digit lead most of the first half.
Things weren’t nearly as chipper on the Kansas bench.
With the Beavers leading 22-9 midway through the half, Self grew so enraged that he slammed his right fist into his left hand, sending his pricey wristwatch flying off.
Self must have transferred some of that fire to his team at halftime.
Beginning with two free throws by Ellis, the Jayhawks slowly began to build momentum, chewing into a 39-28 deficit. But it was still 48-41 when Graham made back-to-back baskets, starting a 14-0 run that brought actor and noted Kansas fan Rob Riggle to his feet and gave the Jayhawks the lead.
Things unraveled so quickly for the Beavers that they burned through three timeouts in 54 seconds — one when they couldn’t inbound the ball — and were left with none the final 14:03 of the game.
“It was a hell of a deal we were out there facing the second half,” Wayne Tinkle said, “and we saw who responded positively and, unfortunately, who responded negatively.”
Meanwhile, the Jayhawks stuck with their starting lineup for much of the half. It was a clear departure from the frequent substitutions that Self made in the first half, and allowed the same group of players to get into a rhythm for the first time all night.
“The way we were playing, it really wasn’t a reason for him to sub — we were playing with so much energy,” Graham said. “He kept asking us if we were tired and we kept saying, ‘No!’”
(At) Texas 84, No. 3 North Carolina 82: Javan Felix swished a short jumper as time expired, giving new coach Shaka Smart his biggest victory with the Longhorns. Felix was left unguarded as players from both teams watched Isaiah Taylor’s 3-point try bounce off the rim. The ball dropped straight to Felix, who put it in. After a few minutes of looking at replay video, the game officials ruled the basket good. Felix finished with 25 points for Texas (6-3) and made five 3-pointers. Marcus Paige scored 20 to lead the Tar Heels (7-2), who started the season No. 1.
(At) No. 5 Kentucky 72, Arizona State 58: Jamal Murray scored 12 of his 17 points in the second half, helping Kentucky pull away. Leading 32-31 at halftime, the Wildcats (9-1) regrouped to play more crisply and aggressively after the break. Marcus Lee added 14 points and seven rebounds for Kentucky. Tra Holder had 15 points and Kodi Justice added 12 for Arizona State (6-3).
(At) No. 7 Oklahoma 96, Oral Roberts 73: Buddy Hield had 30 points and a career-high five steals to lead Oklahoma. Hield was 9 of 15 from the field to fall one point short of his career high. Jordan Woodard scored 19 points, Isaiah Cousins had 15 and Ryan Spangler added 13 points and eight rebounds for the Sooners (7-0), who won by at least 17 points for the sixth straight game. Oklahoma shot 62 percent in the second half to beat Oral Roberts for the 15th consecutive time. Obi Emegano scored 29 points, Kris Martin had a season-high 15 points and Brandon Conley added 10 points and 11 rebounds for Oral Roberts (8-3).
(At) No. 12 Xavier 65, No. 23 Cincinnati 55: Myles Davis scored a season-high 17 points and Xavier ran out to an 18-point lead and beat its crosstown rival for the third straight time. The Musketeers (10-0) matched the best start in school history and extended their domination over Cincinnati (8-2), winning the annual game for the seventh time in nine years.
(At) No. 15 Providence 74, Bryant 67: Drew Edwards scored a career-high 17 points, including five 3-pointers, and usual starter Ben Bentil came off the bench to get 16 points and eight rebounds as Providence won without preseason All-America Kris Dunn. Bentil didn’t start against Bryant after spraining his left ankle Wednesday night against Boston College. Dunn had a stomach virus and sat on the bench but did not play. Dan Garvin had 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting for Bryant (2-9), which has lost eight straight. Jalen Lindsey added 15 points and seven rebounds for the Friars (10-1), who have won four straight, while Rodney Bullock had 13 points and 14 rebounds.
(At) No. 18 Butler 94, Tennessee 86: Reserve Kelan Martin had 25 points and 11 rebounds for Butler. Martin scored all of Butler’s points during a 13-4 run in the second half that kept Tennessee at a distance and sealed the win for the Bulldogs (8-1). The Volunteers (4-4) started the game shooting 60 percent from the field and led by 10 points with 9 minutes remaining in the first half. But the Bulldogs chipped away at the lead, then an 11-2 run put them ahead. Despite scoring 94 points, the Bulldogs endured a rough start on offense, missing their first eight shots from the field on their first four possessions. Kellen Dunham took the brunt of those struggles, going scoreless for the first 12 minutes of the game on 0-for-5 shooting from the field. Dunham, Butler’s leading scorer, finished with 12 points. Tennessee’s Kevin Punter scored 17 of his 27 points in the first half.
UCLA 71, (at) No. 20 Gonzaga 66: Isaac Hamilton scored 20 points, Tony Parker added 16 and UCLA beat Gonzaga. Down 48-47 midway through the second half, the Bruins (7-3) scored nine straight points to take the lead for good. Kyle Wiltjer led Gonzaga (6-3) with 20 points.
(At) Boise State 74, No. 24 Oregon 72: Anthony Drmic scored 19 points and Boise State overcame a double-digit deficit in the first half. James Webb III had 12 points and Mikey Thompson added 11 as the Broncos (7-4) beat the Ducks for the first time in six tries. It was also Boise State’s first home win against a ranked opponent since it topped No. 21 Utah State on Feb. 14, 2009. Dillon Brooks scored 26 points for Oregon (7-2).
(At) Wichita St. 67, No. 25 Utah 50: Zach Brown scored 14 points to lead a balanced Wichita State offense. Markis McDuffie had 13 points and Fred VanVleet added 10 for Wichita State (5-4). Six Shockers made a 3-pointer as they went 10 of 25 from beyond the arc. Jacob Poeltl had 11 points for Utah (7-2), which had 19 turnovers and only 14 field goals. Wichita State’s decisive stretch was keyed by McDuffie, a freshman reserve. He converted a four-point play and hit another 3-pointer. The Shockers stretched the lead to 20 points in the final minute.