In its final Big 12 regular season game of the season, Kansas men's basketball went down to the wire in a 66-62 victory against the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Sophomore guard Devon Dotson commanded Kansas’ offense for most of the first half, despite committing three turnovers.
He was driving to the basket and looking for his teammates when the shot wasn’t there. The sophomore point guard had four assists in the first 20 minutes.
Two resulted in 3-point makes and the other two came on drop offs to senior center Udoka Azubuike in the paint for high percentage looks.
Senior guard Isaiah Moss made one of the 3-pointers Dotson assisted on from the right wing in transition. The shot gave Dotson his fourth assist of the half and the Jayhawks a 25-22 lead in a back-and-forth first half.
Still, the Jayhawks separated themselves as the half wound down. Kansas did so with a strong defensive effort. The Red Raiders didn’t make a shot for 6:26 as the half wound down.
Kansas held Texas Tech to 28.6% (6-for-21) on 2-point shots as it only made two field goals in the last 8:04 before halftime.
As a result, Kansas ended the last 7:27 on a 12-2 run.
Texas Tech made its first three shots after halftime but the Jayhawks put a dent in the Red Raiders run thanks to freshman guard Christian Braun.
As the Red Raiders began to gain momentum, he drove from the left baseline and converted an 1-and-1 opportunity to give Kansas a 37-30 lead at the 17:16 mark.
Braun’s drive was important at the time because Texas Tech went on a 7-0 run for the next three minutes to tie the game.
Texas Tech took a 44-43 lead at the 10:47 mark after freshman guard Kevin McCullar made a layup. However, sophomore guard Ochai Agbaji had an answer.
Agbaji got a contested 3-point shot off from the left wing as the shot clock buzzer sounded to give the Jayhawks back the lead at 46-44.
With Texas Tech putting the pressure on Kansas, Agbaji made two more critical baskets.
The first came on an inbound as he cut for a wide open layup. A few possessions later, he made a second-chance shot after Dotson missed a layup, giving the Jayhawks a three point lead with 4:17 left.
Still, the Red Raiders continued to test Kansas. Senior forward TJ Holyfield made a left corner 3-pointer with 2:11 left to tie the game at 57.
However, Kansas came back and scored the next baskets, an Azubuike putback dunk and a transition layup from Braun. The pair of shots put the Jayhawks back up by four points.
Azubuike finished the game with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
As the No. 1 seed in the Big 12 tournament, the Jayhawks will face either the No. 8 or 9 seed in their first game Thursday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. The tournament will take place at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Missouri.