COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Each time Kansas needed a
boost to hold off Texas A&M, Keith Langford was there.
Langford scored 21 points and the Jayhawks (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today, No. 14 AP) beat the Aggies 71-65 Saturday, extending their winning streak to a season-high five
The junior guard drew two quick fouls early but excelled late in
each half to help Kansas (11-2, 3-0 Big 12) win its seventh
straight conference game dating to last season.
"I did that twice this year," Langford said. "It's all about
keeping your head in the game. Our first-shot defense is pretty
good but we're giving up way too many defensive rebounds."
Kansas improved to 9-0 against the Aggies (7-6, 0-2).
Aaron Miles had 11 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds for the
Jayhawks, who had to scramble even after taking a 61-48 lead with
4:17 to play.
Texas A&M's Antoine Wright led a 17-10 charge, scoring 11 of his
25 points over the final 1:51. Wright also grabbed 12 rebounds.
"That's as poorly as a team can finish the game, what we did
today," Kansas coach Bill Self said. "If that had been a five- or
six-point game when those things occurred, it could have been a
Langford finished with three fouls and was pleased with his
performance in his home state.
"It's always nice to come home because my family can watch,"
Langford said. "I didn't play well my freshman year here so I felt
I had some redeeming to do."
Langford shot 7-of-8 from the field and made both of his 3-point
"We had four guys with two fouls in the first half," Self
said. "I thought we needed to play the one that had the least
chance to not foul again. Keith had the best chance not to foul so
that's why we played him."
The Aggies went cold early in the second half and Kansas moved
to a 51-39 lead behind nine straight points from J.R. Giddens, who
made four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points.
The Aggies led most of the first half until the Jayhawks rallied
behind Langford in the closing minutes for a 31-29 halftime lead.
"In the first half I rushed some shots," Wright said. "It was
probably just the jitters a little bit. I think that carried over
to the whole team. Guys were missing shots they normally hit. I
think it was more us than them."
Kansas trailed 20-15 before Langford scored 10 points over the
final 4:22 of the first half.
Langford's 3-pointer with 3:46 left in the half tied it at 22,
and his 3 with 2:06 to go gave Kansas its first lead since the
opening basket of the game.
"We didn't have much going our way and then Keith got two quick
(fouls) early and then he had about 10 points in five or six
minutes," Self said. "We didn't deserve to go into the halftime
with the lead but we were fortunate to do that."
The Jayhawks never trailed in the second half.
Each team was without a key player. Jesse King, A&M's
second-leading scorer, sat out with a bruised toe. Kansas freshman
David Padgett was sidelined with a stress fracture in his left
Maryland point guard Melo Trimble, considered a lock to leave the program before struggling in the second half last season, has withdrawn from the NBA draft and will return for his junior season.
Louisville's Chinanu Onuaku, who recently underwent a medical procedure to correct a heart rhythm issue detected during the combine, will keep his name in the NBA draft pool.
Andrew White III will return to the Nebraska men's basketball team next season after removing his name from the NBA draft.