LAWRENCE, Kan. — — Jalen Wilson had a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds, the No. 7 ranked Kansas Jayhawks survived with a 65-61 victory over North Dakota State inside a mostly empty Allen Fieldhouse on Saturday.
Ochai Agbaji added 13 points to help Kansas (4-1), as some late heroics from Tyon Grant-Foster helped to finish off the game for the home side.
Grant-Foster drove for a layup to score the go-ahead basket with 1:20 remaining and then delivered a huge play on the defensive side after he swatted away Sam Geisel’s layup with 10 seconds left.
He finished the game with eight points, eight assists, two steals and two blocks.
“I knew No. 5 was going to shoot it and once he did the spin, I knew he wasn’t going to see me coming over because he turned his back to me,” Grant-Foster said. “And I love blocking shots, so I knew I was going to go get it.”
The transfer from Indian Hills Community College played for 22 minutes on Saturday, the most he’s played so far this season.
Kansas coach Bill Self wanted to reward him for his key contributions.
“Tyon was great, great, great down the stretch,” said Self. “I was really happy for him because he hasn’t had many opportunities yet.
“I thought he was playing better defense and as he continues to play better defense, he’ll play more, and as he plays more his offense will come, because he’s a very talented offensive player,” added Self.
Tyree Eady paced North Dakota State with 14 points and six rebounds in 31 minutes. Rocky Kreuser added 11 for the Bison before fouling out late as the travelers shot 39.6% overall and 33.3% from 3-point range.
North Dakota State made 4 of 9 shots from 3-pointers in the first half and trailed 35-33 at the break.
However, the Bison, who lead by as many as seven points in the second half, failed to execute offensively in the closing moments of the game and surrendered the lead.
“That’s on me. I have to put them in a better position down the stretch to finish things,” North Dakota State coach David Richman said. “We’re not into this thing for moral victories.”