Kansas wins fourth Big 12 title
Dallas, TX (Sports Network) – Mario Chalmers led a balanced scoring attack
for 17th-ranked Kansas with 15 points, as the Jayhawks knocked off eighth-
ranked Texas, 80-68, to win the Big 12 Conference Tournament championship at
American Airlines Center.
Russell Robinson netted 14 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out six
assists for the second-seeded Jayhawks (25-7), who will head into the NCAA
Tournament with a five-game winning streak. Jeff Hawkins came off the bench to
score 13 points while Julian Wright and Brandon Rush each donated 12 points in
Kenton Paulino dropped in a game-high 19 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the
field for top-seeded Texas (27-6), which had its three-game winning streak
snapped. P.J. Tucker scored 16 points and had eight boards while Brad Buckman
finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.
With the score going back-and-forth the entire game and tied up at 63-63,
Kansas ripped off a 7-0 run to take a seven-point lead in the second half that
put them in front for the rest of the game.
Rush jump started the surge with two free throws and then Wright stole the
ball from A.J. Abrams at halfcourt and slammed home two points on a fast
break. Robinson then capped the stretch with a three-pointer off the left wing
for a 70-63 lead with about four minutes remaining.
With 3:14 left in the contest, Buckman missed two from the line and after Rush
turned the ball back over to Texas, LaMarcus Aldridge went only 1-of-2 from
the line to make it 70-64.
With 1:31 on the clock, Rush followed a Robinson free throw with a jumper
from the right baseline to push the lead to 73-64.
Buckman then missed a three-pointer from the left corner and Chalmers hit two
from the charity stripe for a 75-64 lead with 1:09 to go.
At the other end, Buckman finally ended a drought of over nine minutes without
a field goal for Texas with a slam inside off a feed from Tucker. It was not
enough, though, as Wright put the Jayhawks up 80-66 with a dunk after Kansas
hit three straight free throws.
A three-pointer by Daniel Gibson followed by two free throws from Tucker, gave
the Longhorns a 38-37 lead heading into the break.
Tucker finished the opening half with 11 points while Gibson added eight on 3-
of-5 shooting from the floor.
Texas did have some trouble handling the ball as they committed eight
turnovers in the first half that led to 16 points for Kansas.
Kansas won its fourth Big 12 tournament championship game. The Jayhawks won
three straight between 1997-1999…Chalmers dished out six assists and had two
steals in the win…Kansas shot 44 percent from the field for the game while
Texas shot 40 percent…The Jayhawks scored 32 points off 16 Texas
turnovers…The Longhorns are now 0-3 in Big 12 tournament finals. They also
lost in 2001 and 2004.