No. 17 Kansas coasts into Big 12 final
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) – Mario Chalmers scored 18 points, pulled down six
rebounds and dished out seven assists to lead 17th-ranked Kansas to an easy
79-65 win over Nebraska in the semifinals of the 10th annual Big 12 Conference
Tournament at American Airlines Center.
“I don’t think we played with the same energy we did last night,” said Kansas
coach Bill Self. “We did what we needed to do but certainly we can improve in
a lot of areas.”
Darnell Jackson added 13 points and 10 boards for the second-seeded Jayhawks
(24-7), who have won four straight and will face top-seeded Texas for the
tourney championship on Sunday. Russell Robinson also had 13 points while Jeff
Hawkins tallied 11 in the win.
The Jayhawks have now won 14 of their last 15 games, with the only blemish
over that stretch coming to Texas in Austin on February 25.
Jason Dourisseau netted 16 points for the sixth-seeded Cornhuskers (19-13),
who lost for the fourth time in their past six games and will likely be headed
to the NIT Tournament. Wes Wilkinson added 15 points, while Aleks Maric had 12
and Marcus Perry chipped in 10 in the loss.
“I felt like our team battled,” said Nebraska coach Barry Collier. “The key
was that Kansas made some shots against our defense from the perimeter and
really had us spread out somewhat. Then they went inside.”
Kansas took charge with a 10-0 spurt midway through the first half. With the
Jayhawks ahead 16-15, Wright made 1-of-2 from the line. Kansas then connected
on three-straight triples — two by Hawkins — to make the score 26-15 with
just over eight minutes left in the opening frame.
The Jayhawks finished the stanza with a 38-26 advantage.
The second half saw Kansas continue to dominate. The Jayhawks scored 14 of the
first 20 points of the period to take their first 20-point cushion. Robinson’s
lay-in with just under 14 minutes left made the score 52-32.
The imposing deficit woke the Cornhuskers up, momentarily. Nebraska used an
11-3 flurry to try and climb back in the game. Wilkinson stuck a pair from the
line with just under 11 minutes left to make the score 55-43.
Any hope of a Nebraska comeback was quickly extinguished when the Jayhawks
responded with six straight points. Robinson started the mini-run with a
jumper and Jackson finished it with back-to-back buckets to make it 61-43 with
under 10 minutes to go.
The Cornhuskers never seriously threatened the rest of the way as Kansas
coasted towards the victory.
Kansas leads the all-time series, 159-71…The Jayhawks shot 52 percent from
the field and won the battle of the boards, 38-30…Nebraska shot just 38