A close game in the first half turned into a blowout in the second, as No. 8 Kansas whacked Texas Tech, 73-51, Tuesday night in Lubbock. The Jayhawks led 27-22 at halftime but outscored the Red Raiders 46-29 in the second half for a runaway 22-point win.
Four Kansas starters scored in double figures, including Wayne Selden Jr., who had a game-high 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc.
Four triples will really up your scoring total in a hurry.
“Definitely,” Selden said on Ferrall on the Bench. “Just trying to stay out there and doing things that keep me out there on the defensive end.”
Selden added four rebounds and three assists, as Kansas shot 26-of-49 (53.1 percent) from the floor, including 11-of-20 (55 percent) from downtown. Selden, Frank Mason, Kelly Oubre Jr., and Brannen Greene all hit at least two threes.
Mason finished with 10 points, eight assists and two steals, Cliff Alexander had 10 points, five rebounds and four blocks, and Perry Ellis had 14 points and nine boards.
Texas Tech, meanwhile, struggled to score all night. The Red Raiders shot just 18-of-54 (33.3 percent) from the floor and 4-of-18 (22.2 percent) from three. They even struggled at the foul line, converting just 11-of-22 freebies (50 percent).
With the win, Kansas improved to 20-4 overall and 9-2 in the Big 12. They have a 1.5 game lead over No. 17 Oklahoma (17-7, 8-4) in the Big 12 standings, but six teams in the league are ranked in the top 21.
“It’s real tough,” Selden said of the Big 12. “We get a game every night. There’s a lot of tough teams. You have to really come out and compete every night.”
Scott Ferrall believes that Kansas, Oklahoma, Iowa State, West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Baylor are all NCAA Tournament teams without a doubt.
“Oh, definitely,” Selden said. “Those are all good teams, and those are all challenging teams for us to play.”
Kansas has lost just twice since Christmas: at Iowa State and at Oklahoma State, both by five points. The loss to Oklahoma State on Feb. 7 was a tad surprising, as the Jayhawks led 41-30 at halftime but were outscored 37-21 thereafter to fall, 67-62, in Stillwater.
“We didn’t play smart,” Selden said. “We didn’t take care of the ball and we got out-toughed, which should never happen. We just didn’t play the type of basketball we’re capable of playing.”
Kansas has several tough games down the stretch. The Jayhawks host No. 16 Baylor (18-6, 6-5) on Valentine’s Day, still play No. 21 West Virginia (18-5, 6-4) twice (Feb. 16 and March 3), and close the regular season at No. 17 Oklahoma (17-7, 8-4) on March 7.
It’s a tough slate, but it should get Kansas ready for the Big 12 and NCAA Tournaments.
“Our schedule all year has been preparing us for the next chapter of our year,” Selden said. “We feel like we’re getting ready with each game we play.”