Kansas gets past USC
Lawrence, KS (Sports Network) – Mario Chalmers scored 13 points and grabbed
five rebounds, leading a balanced attack as 12th-ranked Kansas defeated USC,
72-62 at Allen Fieldhouse.
Brandon Rush also had 13 points, Julian Wright added 10, Darnell
Jackson chipped in 11 and nine boards, while Sherron Collins collected 11
for Kansas (7-2), who recovered nicely from Saturday’s loss to DePaul.
“It was a hard-fought game,” said Rush. “We didn’t really have anything going
for us on offense. We were just trying to keep fighting on defense. USC is a
very good team and they fought back with us. It was kind of like a dog fight.
We had a lot of open looks, but we were just not converting them.”
Lodrick Stewart recorded a game-high 23, and Taj Gibson added 15 and nine
rebounds for USC (5-2), which had its five-game winning streak ended.
Both teams played it cautiously in the opening minutes, as the biggest lead
either side enjoyed through most of the opening half was three points, but
Kansas went up 19-15 on a pair of Rush free throws with 7:51 to go.
USC got back within three on a Daniel Hackett’s free throws with 21 seconds
left in the half, but Jackson’s make from the line with two seconds to go
restored that four-point lead, 37-33 at the break.
Wright’s dunk finally provided the Jayhawks some breathing room, boosting the
lead to 42-35 just 1:17 into the second half, but the Trojans held firm, and
both teams engaged in a see-saw battle until Kansas pulled away late.
Darrell Arthur’s lay-in with 4:24 remaining staked the Jayhawks to a 66-57
advantage, and USC could not come closer than five points the rest of the way.
A pair of Russell Robinson shots from the charity stripe with 21 seconds to go
provided the final margin of victory.
“We got pounded on the defensive boards in the first half, and we turned the
ball over too much in order to beat a good team on the road,” USC head coach
Tim Floyd said. “Our inability to pass and catch under pressure on the road
was frustrating; but this is our first trip on the road and it’s a building
process for us. We’ve got a lot of young kids playing, and it’s their first
time out there, and it doesn’t get any tougher than playing at this place.”
Kansas holds an 8-5 series edge over USC, and the Jayhawks won the previous
meeting by a score of 107-78 during the 1998-99 season…The Trojans shot just
43 percent on the night (24-of-60) from the floor, and made 5-of-11 three-
point attempts…The Jayhawks’ bench provided spark in the victory, outscoring
USC’s subs 23-3.