LAWRENCE, Kan. – No. 15 Kansas defeated TCU, 59-51, with the help of double-figure scoring efforts from juniors David McCormack and Ochai Agbaji inside Allen Fieldhouse on Thursday night.
McCormack led the team with 15 points, in addition to grabbing six rebounds, blocking a shot and making a steal. Agbaji added 13 points of his own along with three rebounds and a team-leading four assists.
The game was a back-and-forth contest all evening, with both teams struggling to make shots fall, but it was the Jayhawks who pulled through and came out on top. With the win, Kansas improves to 11-5 overall and 5-4 in Big 12 Conference play while TCU’s records fall to 9-6 and 2-5, respectively.
After a low scoring first half by each team, Kansas entered the locker room down one and in need of a change in momentum.
Out of the intermission, the Jayhawks’ lineup was switched with junior Tyon Grant-Foster and redshirt-freshman Dajuan Harris Jr., on the court. In the end, the duo provided the spark that the Jayhawks had been looking for all night. Harris was on the floor during most of the second half and boosted Kansas defensively, stealing the ball three times and converting two points off of TCU mistakes. He ended the night with seven points on 75% (3-of-4) shooting from the field to go along with three assists, three steals and a rebound.
Grant-Foster made his presence on the court known in his 17 minutes played, tallying nine points and five rebounds and giving Kansas the energy it needed to pull away from TCU in the final minutes.
The momentum shift was aided by a pair of back-to-back dunks by Agbaji and senior Marcus Garrett which put Kansas up 10 points, its biggest lead of the night. Kansas did not relinquish the lead and went on to beat the Horned Frogs in a hard-fought contest.
On the defensive end, Kansas held TCU to 35% (19-of-54) shooting from the field and 38% (8-of-21) from beyond the arc in addition to forcing 22 Horned Frog turnovers.
STAT OF THE GAME
14 – Tonight’s contest marked the 14th time that the Jayhawks’ starting lineup featured the combination of Marcus Garrett, Ochai Agbaji, Christian Braun, Jalen Wilson and David McCormack. Kansas improved to 9-5 when starting that particular lineup.
MOMENT OF THE GAME
With the shot clock winding down and TCU closing in, junior David McCormack set up and shot up his first-career bucket from beyond the arc. The big man’s first 3-pointer triggered a TCU timeout and an 11-1 run for the Jayhawks.
- Kansas improved to 11-5 or better for the 15th-straight season beginning in 2006-07.
- Kansas improved to 10-0 when leading the game with 5:00 left in regulation this season.
- Thursday marked the 14th time the starting combination of Marcus Garrett, Christian Braun, Jalen Wilson, Ochai Agbaji and David McCormack have started together, combining for a record of 9-5.
- DaJuan Harris set a tied career high in points, scoring seven points on 3-of-4 from the field on the night.
- Ochai Agbaji scored 13 points on 5-of-14 from the field. He has scored in double figures in all but one game this season.
- Mitch Lightfoot registered his seventh charge taken this season which is the most by a Jayhawk this season.
- With Lightfoot’s three blocks tonight, he moved up to 16th on KU’s all-time blocks list with 114 in his career.
- TCU committed 22 turnovers, the most by a Kansas opponent this season.
The Jayhawks have a quick turnaround before their next game as Kansas jumps out of Big 12 play to travel to No. 18/17 Tennessee on Saturday, Jan. 30, for the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. Tip from Thompson-Boling Arena is set for 5 p.m., CT and the game will be televised on ESPN. Kansas is 5-2 in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.