No. 14 Kansas routs Texas behind Withey, Releford

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 16, 2013 at 11:15 pm •  Published: February 16, 2013
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The prime-time match-up between two of the nation's stingiest defenses figured to put points a premium, but that only turned out to be the case for the Longhorns.

They had already fallen behind 11-8 when they went the next 8-plus minutes without a field goal, missing 10 straight shots, three free throws and turning the ball over twice. By the time Papapetrou got to the rim for Texas, the Jayhawks had built a 24-11 lead.

It never got a whole lot better for Texas.

The Longhorns (11-14, 3-9) went another 6½ minutes without a field goal before Demarcus Holland's steal and layup got them within 28-15 at halftime. That meant the final 15:55 of the first half, Texas had precisely as many shot-clock violations (two) as they had made field goals.

It was the Longhorns' lowest-scoring half of the season.

Kansas didn't waste any time delivering the knockout punch in the second half.

Johnson was the catalyst, scoring the Jayhawks' first seven points and finally starting to shake out of a season-long slump that has been frustrating and, at times, embarrassing for one of the key players on last season's national runner-up.

The senior guard started Kansas on a 13-4 run by getting to the basket and drawing a foul. He missed the free throw, but moments later did the exact same thing and converted the three-point play. Johnson finished off his own spurt with another basket, and by the time Releford scored in transition, the Jayhawks had built a 41-22 lead with 14:32 remaining in the game.

"Everybody is just playing," Johnson said. "Nobody is thinking."

Barnes, whose team is in danger of missing the NCAA tournament for the first time in 15 years, was powerless to stop the onslaught even with a full complement of timeouts.

"We didn't mentally do the things we wanted to get done on either end," Barnes said. "That's the thing that bothered me."

Kansas eventually pushed the lead to 55-28 when Withey scored six straight points, including a follow-up dunk off his own miss with just less than 8 minutes left in the game.

McLemore put the exclamation mark on a celebratory night for the Jayhawks when he got ahead of the fast break with about 4 minutes left and elevated for a 360 dunk that brought down the house and gave Kansas a 68-34 lead on the dazed, checked-out Longhorns.

"We're starting to enjoy ourselves more," Johnson said afterward. "I think with those losses, we showed how much we cared for each other. We didn't like to see each other like that, so we've nipped it in the bud."

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