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Seniors dig Kansas out of hole

From left, Kansas seniors Elijah Johnson and Kevin Young and freshman Ben McLemore key a comeback victory.

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From left, Kansas seniors Elijah Johnson and Kevin Young and freshman Ben McLemore key a comeback victory.

LAWRENCE, Kan. — The seniors hadn't been playing like seniors, and Kansas was suffering for it.

Elijah Johnson kept turning the ball over, Kevin Young missed a couple of easy shots around the rim and Travis Releford was mired in foul trouble.

Little surprise that Temple had the sixth-ranked Jayhawks on the ropes.

But when the final minutes starting ticking way, Kansas' veterans finally kicked it into gear. Johnson scored on consecutive drives, Young made six straight free throws and Releford sealed it with a shot-clock-beating 3-pointer from the wing.

After a tense Sunday afternoon, Kansas could finally celebrate a 69-62 victory.

"We didn't do what we were supposed to do early. That came back on the seniors, I want to say," said Johnson, who had five turnovers. "I thought we could have gotten our team riled up. … It wasn't the way it was supposed to be done."

Jeff Withey had perhaps the most impactful game of the Jayhawks' four senior starters. He scored only eight on 3-of-10 shooting but also had 11 rebounds and nine blocks.

Young finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Releford had 14 points on 5-for-5 shooting, none bigger than that 3 with 34.9 seconds left.

With the shot clock winding down, Releford's contested pull-up jumper gave Kansas (12-1) a 65-58 lead.

"Altogether we couldn't do too much until the last few minutes of the game," Withey said. "Crunch time, we played like we were supposed to."

NO. 2 MICHIGAN 95, IOWA 67: Trey Burke had 19 points and a career-high 12 assists for the host Wolverines (15-0, 2-0 Big Ten), who are a win shy of matching the program's best start set in 1985-86. Michigan hosts Nebraska on Wednesday.

NO. 9 MINNESOTA 69, N'WESTERN 51: Austin Hollins hit five 3-pointers during a three-minute stretch in the second half and finished with 19 points for the host Gophers (14-1, 2-0 Big Ten).

LEHIGH: Guard C.J. McCollum, the nation's leading scorer and a preseason All-American, will be sidelined eight to 10 weeks because of a broken left foot.

TENNESSEE: The school plans to redshirt senior forward Jeronne Maymon, who hasn't played all season after having a setback in his recovery from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

BIG EAST BREAKAWAY: The seven Catholic schools that plan to leave the Big East to form a conference expect to double their money off a television deal, reported. Fox, whose Fox Sports 1 channel is set to launch in August, has an initial high offer on the table of more than $500 million for a 12-year deal, according to the website.


NO. 8 MARYLAND 71, NO. 19 FSU 64: Alyssa Thomas had 20 points and 15 rebounds for the host Terrapins (11-3, 2-1 ACC), who snapped a five-game winning streak by the Seminoles (12-2, 2-1).

UF 77, LSU 72: Jaterra Bonds had 19 points, Jennifer George had 15 points and 11 rebounds before injuring a shoulder on a late blocked shot and the host Gators (12-4, 1-1 SEC) used an 11-0 second-half run to rally.

NO. 2 BAYLOR 83, NO. 13 OKLA. ST. 49: Brooklyn Pope scored 18 and Brittney Griner added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Bears (12-1, 2-0 Big 12), who extended the nation's longest home winning streak to 47 games. The Cowgirls (11-2, 0-2) lost their second straight.

NO. 3 DUKE 90, BC 53: Chelsea Gray had her second career triple double, most of it in the first half as the visiting Blue Devils (13-0, 3-0 ACC) opened a 35-point lead and remained Division I's only unbeaten team.

NO. 4 STANFORD 70, UTAH 56: Chiney Ogwumike scored 20 and Sara James a career-high 18 for the visiting Cardinal (13-1, 2-0), which won its 80th straight Pac-12 game.

NO. 6 KENTUCKY 87, ALABAMA 70: DeNesha Stallworth had 19 points and 10 rebounds and Samarie Walker 15 points and 13 rebounds for the visiting Wildcats (14-1, 2-0 SEC).

NO. 7 CAL 53, NO. 20 COLORADO 49: Brittany Boyd scored 15 and the visiting Golden Bears (12-1, 2-0 Pac-12) got some timely rebounding to withstand a rally.

NO. 9 PENN ST. 76, MICH. ST. 55: Nikki Greene had 14 points and 10 rebounds for the visiting Nittany Lions (12-2, 2-0 Big Ten), who had little trouble against the nation's second-ranked scoring defense.

NO. 12 TENN. 79, NO. 10 GEORGIA 66: Bashaara Graves scored a career-high 23 for the host Vols (11-3, 2-0 SEC), who rallied to beat the Bulldogs (13-2, 1-1) for the fifth straight time.

NO. 15 UNC 48, VA. TECH 45: Xylina McDaniel and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt scored 14 each for the host Tar Heels (15-1, 3-0 ACC), who set a season low for points.

NO. 16 UCLA 68, OREGON ST. 64: Alyssia Brewer had 15 points and eight rebounds for the visiting Bruins (11-2, 2-0 Pac-12), who beat the Beavers for the eighth straight time.

NO. 18 S.C. 60, MISS. ST. 46: Aleighsa Welch had 16 points and seven rebounds for the visiting Gamecocks (13-2, 1-1 SEC).

NO. 24 TEXAS A&M 63, NO. 23 ARKANSAS 51: Courtney Williams scored 16 to lead four players in double figures as the visiting Aggies (12-4, 2-0 SEC) handled the Razorbacks (12-3, 0-2).

Seniors dig Kansas out of hole 01/06/13 [Last modified: Sunday, January 6, 2013 9:56pm]
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