Archive for Sunday, March 18, 2007

KU tastes Sweet-ness for first time since 2004

March 18, 2007

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Update #10: Final, KU wins 88-76

CHICAGO - Darrell Arthur put in his first field goal of the game and drew a foul to go with it with just over two minutes to play. His free throw put KU up by 18, and set the final stamp on KU's ticket to San Jose, Calif., to face Southern Illinois in the Sweet 16 on Thursday evening.

Brandon Rush had 19 points for KU, including a sizzling 6-of-7 showing from three-point range. Julian Wright was the Jayhawks' top scorer, with 21 points alongside eight rebounds for KU, while Mario Chalmers had 16 points and eight assists. Kentucky's Randolph Morris led all scorers with 22 points to go with his seven boards. Bobby Pery closed his Wildcat career out with a 21-point showing.

Update #9: 2:52, second half, KU leads 78-63

CHICAGO - Crawford completed the old-fashioned three-point play to make it a 12-point game out of the timeout. Randolph Morris was then called for a goaltend after grabbing the net as a Julian Wright layup off the glass danced on the iron.

Sasha Kaun was then called for a foul against Bobby Perry, but Perry clanked both charity tries, and Brandon Rush came back down with a three that could prove to be the back-breaker, giving KU a 17-point lead and Rush 19 points, 18 of which coming off of treys.

Morris hit two more free throws, but KU continued to answer back, this time iwth Chalmers finding Julian Wright for an alley-oop inside to keep KU up by 17 points at 71-54. Wright now has 18 points and seven boards.

Mario Chalmers put KU up by 18 points, its biggest lead yet, with another three-pointer, giving him 14 points and eight assists on the game. Darrell Arthur then got to the line for the first time in the bonus after taking down a defensive board following a Joe Crawford miss. Arthur splashed both for his first points of the game and a 20-point KU lead. He then blocked a Ramel Bradley drive off the backboard. Bradley hit a three in the corner to follow it up.

Randolph Morris gave himself 20 points with two more free throws making him 14-of-16 from the line on the night. He then scored on a short look off the glass to make it a 13-point game with 3:30 to go. He has 22 points and seven rebounds.

Sherron Collins answered back with a floating two in the lane. Joe Crawford was then called for a walk in the lane, leading to another full timeout.

Update #8: 7:38, second half, KU leads 64-51

CHICAGO - KU turned the ball over after Ramel Bradley picked up his fourth foul of the game, and Kentucky handed it right back, only to see Mario Chalmers miss a three from the right wing.

Randolph Morris then went to the line again after Darrell Arthur was called for his third foul of the game. He hit both this time. But Sherron Collins scored for the third time on the afternoon after the Jayhawks broke the pressure put on by UK.

Morris came back down to float one in on the baseline, and after KU turned it over again, Derrick Jasper drew the sixth team foul on KU in the second half just before the 10-minute mark. Joe Crawford stepped out of bounds on the baseline while driving, though, sending it back with KU.

Darnell Jackson then laid in a Julian Wright feed with the shot clock dwindling to put KU up by 13, and the heads began to shake on the Kentucky bench. After another turnover, Russell Robinson made it a 15-point game by scoring tough inside with Morris slapping the glass.

Jodie Meeks hit two free throws as Kentucky was put into the bonus with just under nine minutes to play, and it was followed with Morris swatting away a Sherron Collins drive to the hoop. Julian Wright then went old-school, banking in a mid-range jumper off hte glass from the right side, giving him 14 points to go with six rebounds.

Joe Crawford dropped in two tough points inside with a foul to go with them as the game headed to a timeout with 7:38 left and KU up 64-51.

Update #7: 11:59, second half, KU leads 56-43

CHICAGO - Sheray Thomas scored two inside off of a missed three from the corner, but Julian Wright came back with two more inside. That was followed with a bad miss by Bradley from underneath. Brandon Rush's fifth three-pointer of the night gave him 16 points and KU a 15-point lead. Sheray Thomas then hit a three for Kentucky, making it 12 again.

After a timeout on the floor, Mario Chalmers stole a pass at midcourt and went in to befuddle Sheray Thomas on the break, with an up-and-under layup putting the Jayhawks up by 14.

Randolph Morris was then unable to hit inside, but KU had an attempted alley-oop fail from atop the key. Morris then got himself to the free throw line, drawing a foul on Darnell Jackson with 12:04 to play. Morris made just the back end, giving him 10 points on the day.

Update #6: 15:40, second half, KU leads 49-38

CHICAGO - Brandon Rush hit a three from the left wing right out of the gate in the second half to put KU up by nine points, 39-30. Sasha Kaun was whistled for a foul on the other end, and Bobby Perry then hit a three, followed by a Kaun miss on the offensive. Perry hit his second three of the half, giving him 15 points and pulling Kentucky within three. Kaun then threw down a lob from atop the key, putting KU up 41-36.

Perry went for a third trey of the half, but missed. He then altered a Julian Wright reverse layup on the other end, and Randolph Morris was fouled on the other end, getting him to the line for the second time in the game. He hit both, giving him nine points on the day.

Morris though then picked up his third foul of the game while Sasha Kaun went up for a dunk on the right side. Kaun made one of two free throws, and Morris headed to the bench.

After Ramel Bradley was off to the side on a three look from deep, Julian Wright took a feed from Mario Chalmers for a baseline jumper to put KU up six.

Brandon Rush then hit his fourth three of the game, giving KU even further separation on the scoreboard at 47-38. After a Jodie Meeks miss, Julian Wright followed a Mario Chalmers up-and-under miss off the glass, giving KU the game's first double-digit lead at 11 points.

Update #5: Halftime, KU leads 36-30

CHICAGO - Julian Wright went to the line for one-and-one after the timeout, and hit both, giving him six points on the afternoon and KU its biggest lead at five points, 30-25.

After the two teams swapped turnovers, Sherron Collins pushed the lead up to seven points when Morris was called for goaltending after wiping a shot from the glass on its way down.

Jodie Meeks hit his second three of the game for Kentucky, as the 'Cats have shown off their love for the three-ball. Brandon Rush then got himself to the free throw line and hit one of two after being undercut on a drive down the left wing.

Darnell Jackson hit two free throws for KU to make it again a seven-point lead with just over a minute to go in the first half. Bobby Perry made it five points again with an eight-foot jumper along the right side of the lane.

After a late timeout, Brandon Rush was called for five seconds while trying to inbound the ball, giving it to Kentucky with just over 50 seconds left. After a short-range miss, Derrick Jasper was called for an over-the-back foul, sending Mario Chalmers to the line in the double bonus. He hit one of two.

Joe Crawford couldn't score underneath on a drive, sending the ball to KU for the half's last shot. Sherron Collins' prayer didn't fall.

Mario Chalmers leads KU with nine points at the half, while Brandon Rush has seven and Julian Wright has six. Bobby Perry leads Kentucky with nine points, while Randolph Morris was held in the first half to just seven points.

Update #4: 3:47, first half, KU leads 28-25

Kentucky's Joe Crawford took the ball down the right side of the lane after the timeout, earning the seventh KU team foul so far. Crawford went to the line and hit one of two, making it a one-point game.

Julian Wright then threw on the moves, working in close and turning around to swish a fading two. He had a layup look in transition that could have put KU up three, but Joe Crawford then came the other way to hit three from atop the key, tying the game 23-23.

Russell Robinsoon fired right back with his first three of the game from the left corner, and Randolph Morris was called for a foul going after an offensive rebound, sending the ball back with KU.

KU had a chance to expand the lead, but Russell Robinson was called for an offensive foul while charging towards the rim. Darnell Jackson was then called for a push underneath on Morris, sending the junior center to the line. Morris hit both charities, again making it a one-point game.

Sherron Collins extended it right back with a fading two just past the free throw line.

Update #3: 7:02, first half, KU leads 21-19

CHICAGO - Randolph Morris was called for traveling right out of the break, and Sheray Thomas was then called for a foul on the defensive end, the second so far on Kentucky compared to five for Kansas.

Brandon Rush aired a floater down the baseline, but Kentucky gave it right back when a Joe Crawford missed three flew out of bounds along the sideline, over Thomas' reach. Sherron Collins was then long on a three, but Kentucky's Derrick Jasper turned it over again on the baseline.

Sasha Kaun became the first KU player to get to the free throw line at the 9:08 mark after getting hacked underneath. He hit one of two, giving KU a 15-14 advantage.

Jodie Meeks put Kentucky ahead by two with his first points of the day coming on a three from up top, but the lead quickly disappeared thanks to a Russell Robinson mid-range jumper on the left side. Joe Crawford took the lead right back with a fading two from the right wing.

Kaun tied it again with a leaning two off the glass following a Russell Robinson missed three, and KU then forced a turnover at midcourt, which Mario Chalmers took the entire way and flushed with two hands, to put KU up by two.

Update #2: 11:18, first half, game tied, 14-14

CHICAGO - KU turned the ball over out of the game's first full timeout, and after Sasha Kaun turned away a Randolph Morris inside look, Bobby Perry followed it with two off the glass.

Perry scored again to tie the game at 11 after a second KU turnover, now with Sherron Collins and Darrell Arthur in the game for Russell Robinson and Julian Wright.

KU continued to sizzle from three-point land, though, as Rush hit his second deep look of the game. Randolph Morris then drew the first foul of the game on Arthur, and hit one of two free throws. He then rebounded a Brandon Rush three miss on the defensive end. He continued to bang inside on offense, and drew the second quick foul on Arthur, sending him to the bench and bringing Wright back in.

Wright quickly rebounded a Ramel Bradley three attempt, but Bradley then tore down Sherron Collins first three-point attempt of the game. Sheray Thomas tied the game with an inside deuce, and it was followed with with an offensive foul call on Mario Chalmers.

Bradley had his second straight three attempt rattle out, and a charging call on Sherron Collins sent the game into another full break.

Update #1: 15:58, first half, KU leads 11-7

CHICAGO - Kentucky took the opening tip after the ball was deflected out of bounds. Randolph Morris took a quick feed inside from Ramel Bradley and poured in the game's first two points on the baseline.

Mario Chalmers came back to hit a three with a hand in his face with the shot clock dwindling to put KU ahead 3-2. Morris came right back with his second deuce in the lane, this one coming off the glass between a pair of defenders.

Chalmers quickly hit his secocnd three of the game, and Julian Wright followed it up by picking off a downcourt pass and finishing inside on the other end. Bobby Perry cut the lead to one with a three atop the key. Julian Wright was called for his first foul of the game while Kentucky took down a defensive board off of a Sasha Kaun miss, but KU got the ball back on a Derrick Jasper turnover and foul. Brandon Rush then hit another three for KU, putting the Jayhawks back up by four.

Pregame

CHICAGO - With a berth in next week's Sweet Sixteen in San Jose, Calif., on the line, two of college basketball's three winningest programs in history do battle today in the United Center.

Kasnas, fresh off of a 40-point thrashing of Niagara Friday night, is favored in a matchup against Kentucky, who wiped away Villanova, 67-58, following KU's triumph. It's the third meeting in three years between the two schools, with KU having one both of the prior recent contests.

The focal point today for KU will be Kentucky junior big man Randolph Morris, who was ineligible when the two squared off in Lawrence last season. He had 19 points and 11 rebounds in Friday's contest, and nearly all of Kentucky's offensive sests run through him.

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