Archive for Saturday, February 2, 2008

KU wakes up in second half, slams Colorado 72-59, now half-game up in Big 12 race

February 2, 2008, 10:52 a.m. Updated February 2, 2008, 4:43 p.m.


Final, KU wins 72-59

It took a little more than a half of the next game to do it, but Kansas University shook the rust following Wednesday's 84-75 loss to Kansas State by taking care of business on the road in a 72-59 triumph over Colorado.

Darnell Jackson led the Jayhawks with 18 points (10-of-10 from the line), while Brandon Rush - invisible in the second half Wednesday night - scored eight of his 15 points in the second half. Sasha Kaun had 12 for KU, while Sherron Collins - who left in the first half with a knee injury and had four turnovers to his credit - finished with nine points in a solid second half run. Mario Chalmers scored eight, including a huge back door dunk late to send CU fans packing.

Richard Roby led Colorado with 22 points.

The game was tied, 30-30, at the break, with Colorado having successfully slowed KU down by milking the shot clock as much as possible and subsequently hitting 12-of-24 from the field.

Behind thunderous dunks from the likes of Jackson, Kaun and Chalmers, KU slowly pulled momentum onto their side late in front of a crimson and blue-filled crowd at the Coors Events Center.

KU improves to 21-1 overall on the season and 6-1 in Big 12 play, now tied for first in the loss column following K-State's 77-74 letdown in Columbia to the Tigers. KU has a half-game lead over KSU in the standings having played one more game, and the Jayhawks will now take on MU in Allen Fieldhouse at 8 p.m. Monday night. The Jayhawks already won the road contest with the Tigers, 76-70, last month.

2:55, second half, KU leads 66-51

Sasha Kaun canned a pair of free throws out of the break to put KU back up by seven, but the lead was pulled back down to five by Jermyl Jackson-Wilson scoirng two inside. That was followed by Kaun soaring in for a big dunk inside, bringing his point total to 12.

Brandon Rush then hit one of two free throws after drawing contact on the baseline, and following a KU steal, Mario Chalmers fed the junior in transition for a soaring one-handed dunk, giving Rush 15 points and pushing KU's lead to double digits at 60-50. A travel call against Richard Roby forced Jeff Bzdelik into a timeout.

Mario Chalmers shut the door on CU maybe for good right out of the timeout with a hanging slam on the baseline after a backdoor feed from Darnell Jackson. Chalmers then waved his hands to bring the KU faithful behind the bucket to their feet with the Jayhawks up 12.

Sherron Collins then scored his second bucket of the day after Marcus King-Stockton hit one of two free throws to put KU ahead by 13 with four minutes to play. Collins scored again, this time inside, on a dish from Rodrick Stewart, pretty much sealing the deal, KU leading 66-51.

7:48, second half, KU leads 53-48

Richard Roby hit two free throws out of the timeout after a KU miss, giving him 15 points and pulling the Buffs back to within five.

Darrell Arthur, who was blocked on the previous possession, then was hacked while sliding in an up-and-under layup. His free throw attempt swished, giving him seven points and pushing KU ahead 49-41.

Dwight Thorne came down to hit a three for Colorado, but Sherron Collins quickly slashed back for his first points of the day. Marcus Hall quickly came back for a layup of his own. Brandon Rush again went to the rack on the next possession but had his shot thrown away by Roby. KU ultimately turned it over underneath to Roby. Roby spilled in two off the iron on the other end while backing down on Russell Robinson. Darrell Arthur responded with two on the baseline.

Sasha Kaun was fouled in transition, heading into another TV timeout with KU ahead by five.

10:43, second half, KU leads 46-39

Jermyl Jackson-Wilson put back a CU miss to start play out of the timeout, and then an aired Mario Chalmers three look sent it back with the Buffs. Richard Roby then hit a three to pull CU wtihin three points at 38-35.

Brandon Rush drove hard and tried to respond but was fouled on his way up. He hit two free throws, putting KU back up by five at 40-35.

Mario Chalmers added on a free throw after a Levi Knutson miss inside for CU. After another empty possession for Colorado, Brandon Rush came back to hit a three-pointer for the Jayhawks, quickly ballooning it back out to a nine-point lead at 44-35.

Marcus King-Stockton came down to hit a pair of free throws after getting fouled going up for a dunk, but Darnell Jackson responded with a lob throwdown off a Sherron Collins feed. Jackson, now with 16 points, viciously ripped at the rim after the throwdown. Marcus Hall answered with a fading two - his first points since two threes early in the first half.

14:41, second half, KU leads 38-30

Marcus Hall had a layup blocked by Darrell Arthur right out of haltime, but Arthur was whistled for an offensive foul on the other end, giving the ball back to the Buffs.

Arthur blocked another CU shot, but after a Buffalo turnover, Brandon Rush missed a layup on the other end. The ball went out of bounds and stayed with KU. The Jayhawks again missed inside - Arthur this time - but CU again turned it over, making it a scoreless opening couple minutes in the second half. Darnell Jackson finally broke the seal with a short jumper inside.

Higgins then missed two inside moments after Arthur was whistled for his second foul of the game - both coming to open up the second half.

KU continued to hold up the defensive intensity, with Mario Chalmers swatting a Dwight Thorne three look with just a second left on the shot clock. The result was a clock violation after the inbounds pass.

Richard Roby missed again after KU was again off inside, and Darnell Jackson pulled down the defensive board. He was then fouled on the other end, getting to the line for the fourth time on the afternoon. Jackson stayed perfect at the line and put KU up 34-30.

Darrell Arthur, back in the game in place of Jackson, extended the lead to six points after another Roby miss with a long jumper just past the free throw line. Mario Chlamers then stole a ball near midcourt and slammed it home right in front of the CU students to give KU its biggest lead yet at 38-30.

Halftime, game tied 30-30

CU turned it over after an offensive rebound out of the timeout. KU used it to extend its lead to three points with Sasha Kaun throwing home two inside on a feed from Darrell Arthur. That stuff gave Kaun a team-high eight points.

CU then got a hustle rebound on the offensive end following a Roby miss, and Cory Higgins' three from the outside tied it again, 28-28, and gave Higgins a game-high 11 points.

Sherron Collins, back in the game, turned it over thanks to a travel call with 1:37 to play, and Bill Self took him out to put in Jeremy Case to finish out the half.

Dwight Throne, against a fading shot clock, then hit two on the baseline while drawing contact to put the Buffs back on top, 30-28. He missed the subsequent free throw.

Darrell Arthur was long on a turnaround jumper from in close, but Roby missed a three on the other end. CU, however, corralled the offensive rebound.Roby got another three look, but again it rattled out. On the other end Darnell Jackson got to the line. He hit both to tie the game, 30-30, heading into the half. Jackson headed to the locker room with a team-high 10 points, including a six-of-six showing from the line. Brandon Rush had seven for KU in the first half, and Sasha Kaun scored eight.

Cory Higgins led all scorers, putting in 11 for CU to go with 10 from Richard Roby. Both teams were efficient from the floor in the first half. KU was 10-of-21, while CU went 12-of-24.

3:57, first half, KU leads 26-25

Darnell Jackson hit two free throws out of the timeout, and a Javon Coney miss for Cu sent the ball back with the Jayhawks. Brandon Rush tried to tie it up with a three in the corner but couldn't hit. The rebound went out of bounds but stayed with KU.

Rush finally scored after missing another three. KU grabbed three offensive boards underneath before Rush slipped in two off the glass, pulling KU within one.

Kaun took the lead moments later off another Coney miss, spinning in two from straight away to make it an 8-0 KU run.

Richard Roby came back in out of the timeout and spiced things up immediately, taking a feed from Coney and slamming home two down the middle. Rodrick Stewart then turned it over for KU, stepping on the endline.

Marcus Hall then missed a three for CU, and Sasha Kaun got to the line on the other end off of a foul underneath, but missed the front end of a one-and-one - KU's first miss at the line on the afternoon.

Brandon Rush came back to drop in two from the top of the key after a CU offensive foul, giving him seven points and putting the Jayhawks back up by one. Roby then drove again but lost the ball on the way up. It was out on KU and the Buffs kept the ball.

7:15, first half, CU leads 23-18

A series of sloppy play out of the timeout was blown to a halt when Sherron Collins went down under the KU hoop in a heap, gripping his right knee. Trainer Bill Cowgill and coaches Joe Dooley and Bill Self came out onto the floor to check on Collins, who limped slowly off the floor and straight into the KU locker room after a few minutes on the deck.

Cory Higgins got to the line for CU after a Russell Robinson three miss and hit one of two to put Colorado up 13-9. The Jayhawks answered back with Darrell Arthur slamming home two on a lob off a Robinson feed to make it a two-point game and erupt the KU fans in the building.

Richard Roby came back to stroke a three off of a nice give-and-go with Levi Knutson, but Brandon Rush responded with an open three of his own - Rush's first points of the game.

Higgins came back to blow by Arthur and put two off the glass. KU was then called for a walk in front of the CU bench, forcing Jeff Bzdelik to erupt with emotion. Richard Roby compounded it, hitting another three for CU to make it a seven-point game. KU's answer was a Darnell Jackson dunk off a feed from Mario Chalmers.

Higgins scored again out of the timeout, drawing back after a crossover dribble to hit a long two and keep CU up by seven. Sasha Kaun came back to bank in two on a hook from straight away.

Darnell Jackson was fouled while shooting inside, putting the game into another full break. Sherron Collins also emerged from the locker room and sat back down on the bench without a limp.

11:50, first half, CU leads 12-9

Chalmers hit the free throw to pull KU within three, and CU followed it with a turnover on the sideline. KU returned it, though, by turning it over for the second time just past midcourt on the sideline.

Colorado again couldn't respond, this time with Jermyl Jackson-Wilson getting called for an offensive foul. Jackson then was whistled for hacking Sasha Kaun on his way up to the rim. That gave the junior big man three fouls just 5:34 into the game. Kaun stepped to the line and cashed both attempts to make it a one-point game.

Colorado then broke a KU full-court press, but after slowing things down turned it over yet again, this time thanks to a traveling call in the paint on Dwight Thorne.

KU came back down to get called for three seconds just as Russell Robinson hoisted a three-point look.

Cory Higgins broke the scoreless drought for Colorado with a steal up top after a call Levi Knutson three miss. He swiped a ball at midcourt and soared in for a two-handed slam in front of the CU students.

KU was then called for an offensive foul against Sasha Kaun, sending him back to the bench. Colorado was bit by its own slow-it-down method, though, being forced into a shot clock violation.

Darrell Arthur was fouled by Richard Roby going to the basket leading into another full timeout.

15:29, first half, CU leads 10-6

The opening tip went out of bounds and went KU's way. Brandon Rush opened the game by missing a three from straight away off the back iron, with CU's Marcus Hall taking dwon the board.

Cory Higgins scored the game's first points when his up-and-under layup was pinned against the board by Darrell Arthur, followed by a goaltending whistle. Arthur then lost a ball out of bounds, giving the ball again to CU.

Marcus Hall responded by splashing a three in the corner against a KU zone. Darnell Jackson responded with a tough two inside. Rush was whistled for a foul on the defensive end for KU. Hall missed another three attempt after that, once CU had dwindled the shot clock deep into single digits. Rush missed a three of his own on the other end. CU couldn't capitalize, turning it over underneath the hoop in front of the CU student section. KU gave it right back, and Richard Roby, working on Darrell Arthur, drove and dropped in two off the glass, putting CU up 7-2.

Darnell Jackson went hard to the rack for KU on the way back down and got himself to the line, where he hit his first two attempts of the game. Marcus Hall came back down to hit his second three of the game, forcing Bill Self into a 30-second timeout with his team down 10-4.

Mario Chalmers came out of the timeout and splashed in tow off the glass in traffic, drawing contact with it to head into a TV timeout at the 15:29 mark.


Boulder, Colo. - If there was any pressure for the Kansas University men's basketball team with carrying an undefeated record through 20 games this season, it's off the shoulders by now, less than 72 hours removed from an 84-75 loss to Kansas State.

A trip to Boulder looks to be the perfect elixir as the Jayhawks (20-1 overall, 5-1 Big 12) continue a stretch of three games in six days today with a 2:30 p.m. showdown with the Buffs (9-11, 1-5).

Colorado, under first-year coach Jeff Bzdelik, on paper looks sorely outmatched against KU, who swept the season series with CU a year ago with ease. The biggest obstacle for the Jayhawks to overcome in Boulder will be 6-foot-6 senior Richard Roby. His numbers aren't off the charts compared to his first three years in Boulder, but he has obviously taken to Bzdelik's teachings, having the most efficient season of his career. He leads the Buffs in scoring (16.6 ppg) and is registering career highs in rebounds per game (6.5) free throw percentage (77.5) and three-point percentage (39.1).

A couple of Jayhawks, such as Russell Robinson, Darnell Jackson and Brandon Rush, will be looking to redeem themselves from sub-par performances Wednesday night in the loss at K-State. They'll have the benefit today of essentially a home crowd in the Coors Events Center, with plenty of crimson and blue expected in the stands.


jayhawkframer 10 years, 2 months ago

i agree, wake up Darrell and unleash the beast.

Curtis Lange 10 years, 2 months ago

KU is ALONE at the top of the Big XII standings. They are not tied with anyone.

derekleeinkc 10 years, 2 months ago

Earth to LJ World... Earth to LJ World...

Kansas leads Big XII Conference at 6-1... Kansas State is a 1/2 game back at 5-1.

NotASquishHead 10 years, 2 months ago

I'm soooo glad we pulled this one out. Just a question that has been bothering me for a few weeks.... Is Darrell ever going to start playing again? He just seems to mope around the court like it doesn't matter to him.

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