NCAA News Wire

No. 8 Kansas avoids trap at Texas Tech

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LUBBOCK, Texas — The Texas Tech Red Raiders’ struggles in Big 12 play during Tubby Smith’s first two seasons as head coach have been well documented, but on their home floor they have been a snare for ranked opponents.

The eighth-ranked Kansas Jayhawks avoided that trap as they distanced themselves from Texas Tech in the second half and grabbed a 73-51 victory Tuesday night at United Supermarkets Arena.

“I thought this would be a really hard game,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “Us being up five at halftime even though we didn’t play well, that wasn’t the worst thing that could happen. We could’ve been down five.”

Texas Tech defeated then-ninth-ranked Iowa State and Kansas State earlier this season, and knocked off ranked Oklahoma State and Baylor last season. Even Kansas barely escaped with a one-point win in Lubbock a year ago.

This time, though, the Jayhawks (20-4, 9-2 Big 12) stretched out a comfortable lead early in the second half as they hit 13 of their first 15 shots, including 6 of 6 3-pointers coming out of halftime.

Kansas forward Perry Ellis hit a 3-pointer and completed a three-point play to put the Jayhawks ahead 49-34 with 12:33 left.

Texas Tech, which shot 33 percent from the field, was not equipped to dig out of a double-digit hole.

“When your players are not making shots and you look down and you see 1-for-8, 1-for-6, 0-for-6 from guys that are supposed to be your scorers, it’s tough,” Smith said. “A lot of it has to do with good play and the outstanding players that Kansas has.”

Kansas guard Wayne Selden led the Jayhawks with 16 points, Ellis added 14 and guard Frank Mason scored 10 points with eight assists.

The Jayhawks hit 11 of 20 3-pointers overall. However, Self was uncomfortable with Kansas’ rate of 5 for 13 from beyond the arc in the first half while getting only four points from its front-court players.

“I didn’t think we played particularly well in the first half after the first five or six minutes,” Self said. “We made some 3’s and that’s all we did good in the first half. In the second half, we obviously shared it and moved the ball better and made shots.”

Meanwhile, Smith saw his Red Raiders fail to execute the game plan on the defensive end.

“The scouting report was they were the leading 3-point shooting team in the league and I guess our guys didn’t believe it,” Smith said. “We just did a poor job of not going over screens. We were in a zone there and our guards up front, I guess they were hiding. I guess they thought that Frank couldn’t make a 3 and some of the other guys couldn’t make a 3 and they did step up and make them.”

Forward Norense Odiase scored 13 points to lead Texas Tech (12-13, 2-10).

The Red Raiders started slowly, missing 11 of its first 12 shots of the game.

The Jayhawks established an 11-point lead during that period as guard Kelly Oubre hit a 3-pointer and Ellis made a layup to cap a 7-0 run, but it wasn’t enough to take control.

Texas Tech eventually found some range and fired back with an 11-2 run. Red Raiders forward Zach Smith hit a trey at the 9:18 mark of the first half to cut Kansas’ lead to 17-15.

Texas Tech guard Robert Turner then tied the game at 20 with a 3-pointer from the left corner with 6:22 left in the first half.

Selden, who scored 13 points in the first half, hit a 3-pointer with three seconds left before the break to give the Jayhawks a 27-22 lead at halftime.

The Jayhawks led at the break despite eight first-half turnovers and 37 percent shooting from the field. Texas Tech shot 28 percent in the first 20 minutes.

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NOTES: Texas Tech has lost 12 straight against Kansas. However, the Red Raiders came close to breaking that drought when they led the Jayhawks by a point in the closing seconds last season in Lubbock. Kansas F Andrew Wiggins made a layup with three seconds left to lift Kansas to a 64-63 victory. … Kansas shot 52 percent from the field in an 86-54 victory