The No. 8 Kansas Jayhawks are coming off a 78-52 win against UTEP on December 7th inside the T Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri. From the final seconds of that game, it became preparation mode for the Border War. The last time these two met on the basketball court was an exhibition game in 2017 called the Showdown for Relief. The Jayhawks would defeat the Tigers 93-87. Kansas leads the overall record between the two 174-95. The students at Kansas lined up to get in for the game nearly a week before, and they came prepared. A rivalry that dates back to 1907 was tipped off, and the mecca of basketball was hitting some incredible decibels.
According to kuathletics.com, Bill Self talked about the atmosphere at Allen Fieldhouse
"“It was a fun day, I appreciate and enjoy all of the fans and how committed they are to the game. They made this day special and certainly, our players played like it meant a lot to them. The atmosphere in the first half was as good as it gets, and the atmosphere in the second half wasn’t as good because the game wasn’t in question at all. We have it better than everyone else, when this place is turned up there is no better place to play or coach.”"
The Jayhawks Show Tremendous Leadership against the Tigers
The Kansas Jayhawks came out the gate on fire. Junior Christian Braun was well prepared for this game, and you could see he was taking this game personally. Braun has been playing very good basketball as he was named the Big 12 Player of the Week on December 6th. In the last two games, he has scored 51 points.
Anyone watching this game could see the passion KU was playing with. The Jayhawks would finish the half on a 7-0 run and would lead at half 49-27. Three players would have double-digit points. Both Christian Braun and Dajuan Harris would have 10 points. Ochai Agbaji would hit a last-second 3-point shot and would finish with 13 points at the half. All three of these players have a connection to the history of the Border War. Kansas was 16-28 (57%) and 6-11 from the 3-point line (55%).
The Jayhawks Continued Their Success in the Second Half
KU would start exactly where they left off going on a massive run. As the second half continued on the Jayhawks would continue to extend the lead. Head coach Bill Self would allow more and more bench players to enter the game. All five starters for KU would finish the game with double-digit points for the first time this season. Kansas would win this game 102-65. The largest margin of victory by KU since 1977 when KU defeated MU by a score of 96-49. The Jayhawks would also score their first 100+ point game of the season.
The Jayhawks Would Win Majority of the Statistical Categories
The game had a lot of high points on the Kansas side. They would be 33-of 59 (56%) and 14 of 27 (53%) from the 3-point line. The team can still improve from the free-throw line as they shot 22-32 (69%). They would win the rebound battle taking in 36. One of the most noticeable stats is the Jayhawks would force 20 turnovers and score 22 points off those turnovers. The bench would score 34 points, and Chris Teahan would hit one of the most epic 3-point shots of the game as it would put Kansas over the 100 point mark.
Dajuan Harris Was the Player of the Game for the Jayhawks
Redshirt sophomore Dajuan Harris was my player of the game. Yes, senior Ochai Agbaji would score 21 points and junior Christian Braun would score 13 points. Harris was recruited out of the Columbia, Missouri area and would sign with the Jayhawks. He scored a career-high-tying 13 points on 5-of-6 (83%) and 3-of-4 (75%) from the 3-point line. In 25 minutes he would also add two rebounds, two assists, and played extremely well on defense.
According to kuathletic.com, Bill Self said this on Dajuan Harris
"“Three of four and five of six from the field. He was great and handled the ball well. Made a great pass to Mitch on a little pocket pass pick and roll early on. I thought that he was good, I thought it was kind of exciting we only had one guy take ten shots, and that was Ochai with 12. We shared the ball, for the most part, I think that sticks just a little bit that was pretty efficient.”"
The Jayhawks Play Stephen F. Austin Next
The Jayhawks look to continue their play on Saturday, December 18th in Lawrence, Kansas, at Allen Fieldhouse against Stephen F. Austin. The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. CT