LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- Kansas' best game of the season turned out
to be Rick Barnes' worst Big 12 loss ever.
With a smothering defense and 27 points from Wayne Simien,
Kansas (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today; No. 6 AP) romped past Texas 90-65 Saturday night, handing
Barnes his most lopsided setback in a conference game in seven
years as the Longhorns' head coach.
"Those are the best two halves we've put together all year, by
far," said Aaron Miles, Kansas senior point guard.
"Offensively, we shared the ball and executed," said Miles,
the Big 12's career assists leader. "Defensively, we played great
team defense. We made them take tough shots. That's the key."
The Longhorns (15-5, 4-3), down to eight
scholarships players because of injuries and academic problems,
were never in it, falling to 0-5 in Allen Fieldhouse since the Big
12 was formed in 1996. Texas (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today; No. 16 AP) committed a season-high 20 turnovers.
"They were good," Barnes said. "We really didn't give
ourselves a chance. In the first half they had 14 points off our
Keith Langford had 17 points and Miles had 10 points and eight
assists for the Jayhawks (16-1, 6-0), who took over the Big 12 lead
with the surprisingly one-sided romp over a team that beat them
twice last season.
Keyed by Jeff Hawkins' 3-pointer at the buzzer, the Jayhawks
closed the first half on a 14-4 run, taking a 43-28 lead.
Determined to keep the momentum, they came out firing in the
second half and quickly built the lead to 21 points.
"That's what we were thinking," Miles said. "There have been
games this year where we'd be up by 15 points and then we'd let a
team back in. We can't be like that. Good teams like Texas can get
back in the game, so you have to put your foot on their throat and
not let them back."
Simien started the second half by stealing a pass and then Miles
hit a 3-pointer. Christian Moody blocked a shot and fed Langford
for another basket.
"It was a collective effort. It was probably our most complete
game of the season," Simien said.
A moment later, J.R. Giddens hit a 3-pointer that put the
Jayhawks on top 51-30. Texas never got closer than 16 in the second
half of its worst conference loss in Barnes' seven seasons. The
previous worst was an 83-59 setback at Oklahoma on Jan. 31, 2000.
"They were great tonight," said Daniel Gibson, Texas'
sensational freshman point guard. "They came out aggressive."
Gibson, who went 6-for-6 from behind the arc against Texas Tech
on Tuesday night and had averaged almost 22 points in his last
three games, had only four points in the first half. But he wound
up with 19, and the respect of the Jayhawks.
"He's going to be a great guard in this conference," Miles
said. "When they were down, he kind of took it upon himself to
say, `You know what? OK, I'm going to try to do something.' And he
made shots. He made plays in the second half. I like that in a
"That (Kansas) is probably the best team in the Big 12," said
Klotz. "They played great."
Texas, after hitting 14-of-21 from beyond the arc in its
previous game, made only 4-of-23.
"Our offense early got us in trouble," said Barnes. "It
wasn't our defense."
Nearly unstoppable on his mid-range jumper, Simien had 14 points
in the first half, including one stretch when he scored six points
in a row. The Jayhawks went up 34-24 when Hawkins hit a layup and
converted a foul shot.
"One thing we did have tonight for the entire game was
effort," said Barnes. "A lot of teams would roll over, but our
guys didn't. They (Kansas) got it going and played really well."
Former Kentucky guard Ed Davender, the only Wildcat with at least 1,500 points and 400 assists, has died. He was 49.
Guard Naz Mitrou-Long, whose 2015-16 season ended in December due to hip problems, has been granted a hardship waiver for the coming season, Iowa State said.
As the Sooners look to life without superstar Buddy Hield and his sidekicks, it's clear their unseasoned players will need to grow up fast.