LAWRENCE, Kan. – The tandem of senior Lagerald Vick and redshirt-junior Dedric Lawson combined for 57 points as the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks outlasted No. 17 Villanova, 74-71, Saturday afternoon inside Allen Fieldhouse. Vick scored 19 of his game-high 29 points in the second half, while Lawson posted his sixth double-double of the year as KU avenged its Final Four loss to the Wildcats last March.
The Jayhawks remained unbeaten on the year, moving to 9-0, its best start to a season since 2010-11. The Wildcats fell to 8-4 in 2018-19, suffering its second loss in five days.
Some hot shooting from Lawson and Vick had the Jayhawks out in front for the majority of the first half. After falling behind 13-8 before the 14:00 mark of the opening frame, KU sprinted on an 11-0 run, highlighted by triples from both Lawson and Vick. During this time KU held the Wildcats without a point for more than six minutes as it took a 19-13 lead before the under-8 minute media timeout.
Villanova countered with a trio of threes of their own over the final eight minutes of the first frame to claw their way back within reach before the break, as the Jayhawks held on to a 33-31 edge at the intermission.
The Wildcats came out of the halftime locker room on an 8-2 run to regain the lead at 39-35, less than four minutes into the second frame.
Vick and Lawson then took control on the offensive end, scoring 24 of their team’s next 26 points to help the Jayhawks carry a 61-56 lead into the final media timeout of the game.
Devon Dotson’s lone field goal of the second half was a big one as it gave the Jayhawks a two-possession lead with less than 2:30 to play in regulation. The freshman took Villanova’s Eric Paschall, who was saddled with four fouls, to the rim and gave the Jayhawks a 63-58 advantage.
From there, KU used some impressive free throw shooting to keep the Wildcats at arm’s length down the stretch. The Jayhawks posted an 11-of-12 clip from the charity stripe over the final 1:10 of regulation and got some key defensive stops over the last minute to seal the 74-71 win.
Vick closed out his fourth 20-point scoring effort of the season, scoring 29 points on 9-of-15 shooting, while Lawson tallied his sixth-consecutive 20-point outing, posting 28 points to go along with a game-high 12 rebounds. Dotson was the only other Jayhawk in double-figures, adding 11 points in 26 minutes.