LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Gradey Dick scored 21 points, Dajuan Harris Jr. had 17 points, six rebounds and five assists, and No. 9 Kansas held on to beat fifth-ranked Texas 88-80 on Monday night.
Kevin McCullar Jr. added 16 points, Joseph Yesufu had 14 off the bench and KJ Adams finished with 10, helping the Jayhawks (19-5, 7-4 Big 12) overcome an off night from Jalen Wilson. The league’s leading scorer battled foul trouble and was held to two points, ending his streak of 25 straight double-figure games.
The win marked the 40th straight Big Monday home win for the Jayhawks and improved Coach Bill Self to 36-0 at home on Big Mondays during his KU career.
The Jayhawks needed everyone’s help holding off the Longhorns’ Marcus Carr.
The Minnesota transfer, who had a game-high 29 points, kept answering Kansas baskets down the stretch. His 3-pointer got the Longhorns within 77-68 with 2:25 left, three free throws made it 78-71 with 1:31 to go, and his three-point play got the Longhorns (19-5, 8-3) within 86-80 with 23.5 seconds remaining.
Texas had to foul Dick at the other end, though, and his free throw with 18 seconds left helped to put the game away.
The Longhorns have made a habit of overcoming double-digit deficits: 18 down to beat TCU, 12 down to beat Texas Tech and 14 down to beat No. 12 Kansas State last Saturday in a game played just down the road.
So it wasn’t that surprising when Texas dug another 14-point hole Monday night.
Just like the Longhorns did in Manhattan, though, they shook off 10 first-half turnovers to get within 42-35 by the break, then kept coming in the second half. Hunter hit a 3-pointer, Carr added a couple of buckets and it was 43-all when Kansas coach Bill Self called a timeout to slow Texas’ momentum.
Unlike the Horned Frogs, Red Raiders and Wildcats, the Jayhawks rose to the challenge.
McCullar’s three-point play while they were clinging to a 49-48 lead gave them a boost, and Dick added a couple of free throws. But it was back-to-back buckets by Harris, who is known more as a distributor rather than a scorer, that pushed the lead to 58-50 with about 12 minutes to go.
Texas closed within 66-60, but the Jayhawks pulled down two offensive boards and Dick hit another 3-pointer. And when Yesufu bookended a couple of free throws by Harris, the lead had stretched back to 75-62 with 3 minutes to go.
The Jayhawks were able to fend off Carr and the Longhorns from there.
The Jayhawks were missing several backups to injuries. Zack Clemence has a hurt knee, Bobby Pettiford Jr. is dealing with a hamstring injury and Zuby Ejiofor a foot injury. Kyle Cuffe Jr. (knee) and Cam Martin (shoulder) also were out.
Texas has struggled to get off to good starts this season, and it seemed the energy the Longhorns expended climbing back into Monday night’s game was missing by the end. Carr tried to carry them but he needed more help.
Kansas got the production it needed from the bench. Yesufu provided the scoring pop but big man Ernest Udeh Jr. and guard MJ Rice, both seldom-used freshmen, also provided important minutes for the Jayhawks.