Gradey Dick scored a game-high 19 points Monday night, and No. 3 Kansas shackled No. 24 TCU’s transition attack for a 63-58 win in Fort Worth, Texas, that put the Jayhawks atop the Big 12 Conference.
Kevin McCullar Jr. added 15 points and seven rebounds, hitting two clinching free throws with 1.5 seconds left for the Jayhawks (23-5, 11-4 Big 12). It was Kansas’ 14th Quad 1 win of the season, five more than any other Division I team has against top-tier opposition.
Kansas moved a half-game ahead of No. 8 Texas (21-6, 10-4), which will play host to No. 23 Iowa State on Tuesday.
Mike Miles Jr. scored 13 points for the Horned Frogs (18-10, 7-8), while JaKobe Coles came off the bench for 12. Damion Baugh added 11 points, but TCU experienced a miserable shooting night, making only 20 of 66 attempts from the field (30.3 percent). Baugh wound up 4 of 16 while Miles was 4 of 14.
The Horned Frogs also hurt themselves with poor foul shooting, connecting on just 13 of 21 (61.9 percent) free-throw attempts. Kansas wasn’t much better at 8 of 12 (66.7 percent) but was able to compensate by earning a 48-42 advantage on the glass. That allowed the Jayhawks to overcome a rare off-game for national Player of the Year candidate Jalen Wilson, who made only 3 of 11 shots and scored seven points — 13 under his average.
Kansas made 26 of 66 shots from the floor (39.4 percent).
The big storyline prior to tipoff was how would Kansas keep TCU from dominating the way it did on Jan. 21 in Lawrence, Kan., when the Horned Frogs produced an 83-60 blowout that emptied Allen Fieldhouse well before time expired.
The Jayhawks’ answer was tough defense. The Horned Frogs didn’t get the clean looks they had for most of last month’s game, shooting only 32.4 percent in the first half. That allowed Kansas to survive foul trouble as Wilson and Dick played a chunk of the last seven minutes with two fouls each.
Dick supplied most of the offense in the first half with 14 points, including a layup that snapped a 29-29 tie with 1:40 left until intermission. Ernest Udeh Jr.’s dunk just before the buzzer gave the Jayhawks a 33-29 edge at the break.
–Field Level Media