Saturday , Jan , 01 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Langford leads Kansas over Georgia Tech

Lawrence, KS (Sports Network) – Keith Langford scored a team-high 18 points,
including the game-winning bucket with 3.3 seconds remaining in overtime, as
second-ranked Kansas rallied from a 16-point deficit to hand No. 9 Georgia
Tech a 70-68 loss in a heavily anticipated nonleague matchup.

Langford netted 16 of his 18 points after halftime as Kansas (9-0) remained
unbeaten and gained a measure of revenge against the Yellow Jackets, who
knocked the Jayhawks out of the NCAA Tournament with a 79-71 overtime victory
last season.

With the score tied 68-68, Langford drove left into the lane, faked right and
knocked down an elbow jumper to give Kansas a 70-68 lead with 3.3 seconds
remaining.

Georgia Tech, which played a majority of the game without star B.J. Elder
because of a hamstring injury, turned the ball over on its ensuing possession.
After Kansas missed two foul shots, the Yellow Jackets threw a desperation
heave that fell well short.

“I could have called timeout, but I thought our team should just go play,”
Kansas coach Bill Self said. “We got out of (Langford’s) way in overtime and
he made a play. He wasn’t going to pass the ball, he was going to be the one
to take that shot.”

Also netting double figures for Kansas were J.R. Giddens with 16 points and
Aaron Miles with 14. Miles also recorded eight assists, giving him 808 for his
career, breaking Jacque Vaughn’s school record.

Leading Georgia Tech (9-2) were Jarrett Jack with a game-high 26 points, and
Luke Schenscher, who netted 10 points to go along with six boards and three
blocked shots.

In overtime, Tech went ahead by four when Anthony Morrow hit a jumper from the
right side and Isma’il Muhammad nailed a runner. But Kansas responded with a
three-pointer from Alex Galindo before a Georgia Tech turnover led to a layup
by Giddens, giving the Jayhawks its first lead of the game, 66-65.

After a bucket by Morrow put Tech ahead, Kansas reclaimed the lead on a short
jumper by Langford. Muhammad made 1-of-2 free throws to tie the game 68-68,
setting up Langford’s game-winning shot.

“Keith Langford walked by me and told me that this game would be on ESPN
Classic for a long time,” Jack said. “This game was an opportunity to play in
an overtime game on the road. Kansas probably has the best fans in the
country. I have never been in a building with an atmosphere quite like this.
We did a great job of battling for 40 minutes and overtime, but what can you
say, (Langford) made a big shot.”

Kansas and Langford struggled on offense in the first half as Georgia Tech
jumped out to a 10-2 lead behind a Will Bynum three-pointer and layups from
Elder and Jack.

Georgia Tech’s defense was stellar, holding the Jayhawks to just four points
in the first eight minutes of the game. Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets extended
their lead to 18-4 with Jack converting a three-point play, Muhammad dropping
in a layup and Anthony McHenry swishing a three-pointer.

In a scary moment for Tech fans, Elder went down with a leg injury after
rising and falling awkwardly on a fast-break layup attempt with just more than
11 minutes left in the half. Elder stayed down on the court clutching his leg
for several seconds before walking off under his own power. The preliminary
report was that Elder strained his left hamstring and he did not return to the
game.

The Elder injury proved a major difference as the Yellow Jackets led 27-11
with seven minutes remaining before Kansas went on a 16-7 run to close the
half. Sasha Kaun started the Jayhawks outburst with a layup, Giddens
stroked a jumper and Miles and Giddens each drained three-pointers.
Christian Moody added a layup, Giddens hit another three and Miles converted a
pair of free throws as Kansas cut the deficit to 34-27 at the break.

“Kansas is probably the grittiest team we will play all year,” Jack said.
“They didn’t put their head down when we jumped on them early. They stayed in
and fought tough.”

After intermission, Georgia Tech extended its lead to double figures behind a
6-2 run with a Jack runner in the lane highlighting the burst.

But Kansas responded with Miles hitting a pair of three-pointers and Giddens
adding a trey to cut the score to 43-40 with just less than 15 minutes
remaining.

After Kansas got to within 50-49, Jack hit a pair of runners to extend Georgia
Tech’s lead to five points. Kansas would not go away and trailed 59-58 after
Langford hit a three-pointer, but Jack hit a short jumper for Tech, which led
61-58 with two minutes remaining.

With four seconds on the shot clock, Langford tied the game, 61-61, with a
three-pointer from the wing. But neither Tech nor Kansas could knock down the
game winner, setting up overtime.

GATECH KANSAS