Courtesy: KU Athletics
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Twenty-point scoring efforts from a trio of Sun Devils were too much for Kansas to overcome as the No. 2 Jayhawks fell to No. 16/17 Arizona State Sunday afternoon in Allen Fieldhouse. Four Jayhawks scored in double figures, including Lagerald Vick, who led the team with 25 points, but ASU countered with 14 3-pointers and a plus-50 percent clip from the field to hand the Jayhawks their first double-digit loss in Allen Fieldhouse since 2011.
The loss, Kansas’ second-straight, dropped the Jayhawks to 7-2 on the season, while the Sun Devils remained unbeaten on the year, now 9-0.
The Jayhawks jumped on the Sun Devil’s early. A Vick alley-oop slam followed by a Malik Newman transition 3-pointer helped push Kansas out to a 10-2 lead and forced ASU coach Bobby Hurley to use his first timeout less than two minutes into the game. That timeout did little to stop the KU momentum. Devonte’ Graham connected on his first of five threes less than 30 seconds later and Vick followed with a lay-up to cap the 15-2 Jayhawk run.
Those early KU punches didn’t deter the Sun Devils though, who responded with a 15-2 run of their own to cut the Kansas advantage to 18-17 on deep 3-pointer from Tra Holder at the 11:48 mark.
Two more threes from Graham and Vick along with four-straight dunks, two each from Vick and Udoka Azubuike, got the rafters rattling in the Fieldhouse once again and put some distance back between the Jayhawks and Sun Devils. At 34-29, Graham hit his third trey of the half to get his team’s lead to eight points with just under 3:30 to play prior to the intermission.
ASU clawed back once again thought. A three from Shannon Evans II, the Sun Devil’s seventh of the opening 20 minutes, paired with a Romello White lay-in during the final 90 seconds of the half got Arizona State back within three points at 40-37 before the two teams headed into the intermission.
Both squads traded blows over the first five minutes of the second frame. Graham put in five-quick points during the early minutes, but a trio of ASU 3-pointers pulled the visitors level with KU for the first time since the start of the game at 50-50.
ASU claimed its first lead of the game just a minute later with a 3-point play from White and a steal and lay-up from Holder, prompting Kansas head coach Bill Self to call a timeout with his team trailing, 57-52 with just over 14 minutes to play in regulation.
The Sun Devil run continued as the Jayhawk shooters went cold. KU failed to connect on a field goal for nearly five minutes and ASU took advantage, stretching the lead to 14 points at 65-52 with just over 10 minutes to play.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Svi Mykhailiuk gave the Jayhawks hope of a come-from-behind win, cutting the Sun Devil lead to 78-72 with 5:20 left in the game. But just as it had all afternoon, Arizona State had an answer. Evans II connected on his fourth and fifth 3-pointers of the game, with those buckets sandwiching a steal and a lay-in from Remy Martin that extinguished the KU run and got the Sun Devils ahead by double digits at once again, 83-72.
Both squads traded buckets the rest of the way as KU was unable to stop the hot-handed Sun Devils, who closed out a 58-point half and the 95-85 victory.
Vick led the KU scorers for the second-straight game, posting 25 points on 11-of-15 shooting. Graham added 19 points along with a 5-of-11 clip from beyond the arc. Mykhailiuk scored each of his 14 points in the second half, while Azubuike and Newman followed with 13 points apiece.
Kansas will take a week off for final exams before heading north to meet former conference foe, Nebraska in Lincoln for the Shelter Insurance Showcase on Saturday. Dec. 16. Tip-off from Pinnacle Bank Arena is slated for 7 p.m. on FS1. The teams will renew a series that dates back to 1900. The Jayhawks and Cornhuskers met 214 times as members of the Missouri Valley, Big Six, Big Seven, Big Eight and Big 12 conferences until 2011. KU and NU met last season in Lawrence, an 89-72 Jayhawk victory. KU now leads the all-time series, 171-71.