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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Kansas Wins Big 12 Tournament

Kansas made an incredible effort to get back in the game, and eventually win in overtime, 88-84, against Texas in the Big 12 Tournament Championship. Down by 22 with 8:10 left in the first half, the Jayhawks fought hard just get back within five by halftime. Kansas went on a 24-7 run to close out the half.
From the very start of the game, Kansas blocked three straight shots, and it looked like the Jayhawks would dominate but Texas freshman Kevin Durant heated up from the field, sparking Texas to their temporary big lead.
“We did a bad job on him (Durant) early,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said. “He had eight points before the first tv timeout.”
Durant finished the game with 37 points and earned the Most Outstanding Player for the tournament. Durant and his teammates will have to put the Championship Game loss behind them if they hope to do well in the NCAA Tournament.
“It is a bigger week next week,” Durant said. “We just have to bounce back off this loss.”
Julian Wright, who was named to the All-Tournament team, scored 19 points and had two blocks. The biggest block of the game came in the final seconds of overtime when Texas had a chance to tie or pull within one. D.J. Augustin drove into the lane with 14 seconds left to play. Kansas forward Darnell Jackson blocked Augustin’s lay-up attempt, ending the Longhorn’s chances of a victory.
“I just went over there and put my arms straight up and jumped and came down will the ball and got fouled,” Jackson said. “Brandon (Rush) told me to make these free throws, so I made them.”
Brandon Rush scored 19 for Kansas, and was also a member of the All-Tournament team. But it was freshman Sherron Collins, who came off the bench, who played the biggest role for Kansas. He brought energy when the Jayhawks needed it in the first half to crawl back in the game, and he continued to score at key times in the second. He ended the game with a Kansas point high of 20.
Kansas seemed to wake up at the 8 minute mark of the first half. In several games I watched, Kansas can turn it on when they need to. But with the NCAA tournament coming, and Kansas getting a No. 1 seed, the Jayhawks should not get into a habit of being lazy in the first half on offense and defense.
“They kind of cracked down on defense when it came to clutch time, so we have to give them credit,” Texas guard A.J. Abrams said.

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