LAWRENCE, Kan., Sporting Alert — Tra Holder scored 29 points and Remy Martin had 21 off the bench, and No. 16 Arizona State pulled shocked No. 2 Kansas 95-85 at Allen Fieldhouse on Sunday.
“The game slowed down for us,” Holder said. “At first it was really rapid, the crowd got into it.”
The defeat saw Kansas losing for the second successive time, following its 74-65 loss to Washington on Wednesday night.
“This is the softest team that Kansas has had since I’ve been here,” said Jayhawks coach Bill Self, who is in his 15th year.
“It’s a combination of experience, youth, how we’re physically built and skill set, but we’ve got to become tougher on the defensive end.”
Holder shot 8-of-16 from the floor and made four 3-pointers, while dishing out seven assists.
Martin finished on 8-for-11 shooting with a pair of 3-pointers and picked up five steals in the win for Arizona State, which scored 25 points off 16 Kansas turnovers.
— FOX Sports Arizona (@FOXSPORTSAZ) December 10, 2017
Shannon Evans II scored 22 points, hit five 3-pointers and had five assists, while Romello White ended with 13 points and seven rebounds for the Sun Devils (9-0), who remained undefeated this season and evened the all-time series with Kansas at 5-5.
“No one really wins here,” Sun Devils coach Bobby Hurley said. “You come in here, most of the time you’re not leaving real happy.”
“I didn’t have to coach them a lot tonight,” Hurley added. “These guys deserve all the credit.
“With their shot-making ability, the energy they played with on both ends of the floor, the deflections they got all over the court … they did a lot of great things.”
— Arizona State Sun Devils (@TheSunDevils) December 10, 2017
Junior guard Lagerald Vick led Kansas with 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting.
It was the fifth time Lagerald was scoring 20 or more points this season, while he also grabbed seven rebounds.
Senior guard Devonte’ Graham added 19 points, eight assists and three steals and Svi Mykhailiuk ended with 14 points, but shot 3-of-14 from the field and had four turnovers and four fouls for the Jayhawks.
"A lot of it is toughness. When things aren't going well you grind through it a little bit and we just don't have that right now." – Coach Self on needing to see the team's mental toughness emerge fully #KUbball pic.twitter.com/oM3KSkC5YY
— Kansas Basketball (@KUHoops) December 10, 2017
“We’re not really guarding the ball really well right now,” said Graham. “We’ve got to get better, especially on that end of the court.”
Udoka Azubuike finished with 13 points and nine rebounds and Malik Newman also scored 13 points for the Kansas (7-2), which shot 48 percent overall and made 14 of its 38 attempted 3-pointers.
“It wasn’t our offense,” Self said. “Hey, if you score 85 at home, you’re supposed to win.”
Meanwhile, Arizona State shot 51 percent overall and 50 percent from 3-point range on Sunday.
Kansas stormed out the blocks and built an early 15-2 lead, but the visitors chipped away at the deficit to cut the score to three points at the halfway point and then went into the halftime break trailing 40-37.
“They weren’t really vulnerable,” Evans said, “but more hungry, nasty and gritty, things like that.
“I thought coach (Bill) Self did a great job getting those guys prepared for us. We knew we were going to get their best shot. We took that and surpassed it.”
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Kansas will next head on the road to face former Big 12 rival Nebraska on Saturday.
Arizona State will play host to Vanderbilt next Sunday.